As announced on Wednesday, Argentine winger Ignacio Aliseda is Chicago Fire FC’s newest Designated Player, joining the Club from Argentine Primera Divisón side Defensa y Justicia.
Aliseda, 19, becomes the second Designated Player added to head coach Raphael Wicky’s roster this offseason, joining fellow MLS newcomer Robert Berić in the Fire attack.
Still at the outset of his professional career, get to know Aliseda better with five fast facts on the promising young attacker:
Prior to Wednesday, Fire FC had signed 15 Designated Players since the rule was introduced ahead of the 2007 season. Aliseda - the 16th - becomes the Club’s youngest ever player to hold that distinction at 19 years, 11 months, and five days old at signing. He surpasses David Accam, previously the youngest, who signed at 24 years, two months, and 11 days old.
Aliseda’s relative youth holds up league-wide among Designated Players as well. Born March 14, 2000, the Buenos Aires native becomes the league’s fifth-youngest Designated Player, trailing (from youngest to oldest) Real Salt Lake’s Jeizon Ramirez, Minnesota United’s Thomas Chacon, LAFC’s Brian Rodriguez, and Inter Miami CF’s Matias Pellegrini.
In line with the league’s current trend towards signing younger players, all five members of the aforementioned group were added to their respective clubs within the last seven months.
A Long Line
Aliseda is the latest in a long line of Argentinean Designated Players to enter the league, becoming the 38th DP to represent the country since 2007. That total currently ranks first as the highest number of Designated Players from a single country all-time, above the 21 from the United States and 13 from Mexico.
According to Transfermarkt, the 19-year-old could become the fifth-youngest Argentinean player ever to debut in MLS should he make his first league appearance prior to Pellegrini (born May 11, 2000). Atlanta United’s Ezequiel Barco is the current youngest-ever Argentine debutante, having premiered for Atlanta at 19 years and 24 days old.
Aliseda currently represents Argentina at the Under-23 level, where he featured twice for the side that won the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru last August. The winger made both appearances in the group stage, helping his home country reach the knockout round and eventually grab the gold medal with a 4-1 win over Honduras.
Aliseda’s professional debut came in the 2018 Copa Sudamericana, where his Defensa y Justicia side were drawn against Primera División counterparts Banfield in the tournament’s Round of 16. After a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the contest, Aliseda entered in the 70th minute of the second leg with the score level at 0-0 and a trip to the quarterfinals at stake. Alexander Barboza scored five minutes later to put Defensa in the lead, before Aliseda sealed the dream result with a stoppage time finish.
Defensa would ultimately bow out on away goals in a 3-3 two-leg quarterfinal tilt with Colombian side Junior de Barranquilla, but the run marked the furthest that the Buenos Aires side had ever finished in the tournament.