Gilberto Welcome

Chicago Fire Acquire Brazilian Forward Gilberto as Designated Player

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (July 27, 2015) – The Chicago Fire announced today that the club has acquired former Toronto FC Designated Player Gilberto after claiming him on waivers. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In order to accommodate Gilberto as a Designated Player on the Fire roster, targeted allocation money was used to lower the budget charge of Kennedy Igboananike, freeing a Designated Player slot.

The Fire also completed a sign-and-trade deal with the Montreal Impact, acquiring general and targeted allocation money in exchange for Ivorian international Didier Drogba.

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“Gilberto is in the prime of his career and can immediately help our club push toward the MLS Cup Playoffs this year and for years to come,” said Chicago Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop. “We’ve been tracking Gilberto for some time now and knew he could become available due to Toronto FC’s Designated Player situation. He’s shown he can score goals in this league and we look forward to him joining our club here in Chicago.

“With regards to the trade, we felt this move was in the best interest of our club. We received a significant amount of allocation money from Montreal, giving us the spending flexibility to find another player in this window or down the line. We respect Mr. Drogba’s professionalism throughout this process and wish him luck, but we are excited to welcome Gilberto to the club and move forward toward the MLS Cup Playoffs and the U.S. Open Cup Semifinals.”

Gilberto, 26, scored nine goals during his loan with Vasco da Gama, after arriving in February of 2015. Seven of those goals came during his club’s run through the Guanabara Cup.

The Brazilian forward initially joined MLS prior to the 2014 season after signing as a Designated Player for Toronto FC on Dec. 13, 2013. He was one of Toronto FC’s top attacking players that season, notching seven goals and five assists in 28 games. He scored in four-consecutive games at one point during the season.

Prior to his MLS arrival, Gilberto played for five different teams in the Brazilian Serie A. He tallied 14 goals and three assists in 23 games while on loan for Portuguesa in 2013 and had nine goals and four assists while splitting action for Internacional and Sport Club do Recife in 2012. He also had a goal and an assist in 13 games for Internacional in 2011. Gilberto signed his first professional contract with Brazilian outfit Santa Cruz in 2009 and also spent a season on loan with Vera Cruz in 2010.

Transaction: Chicago Fire (MLS) claim F Gilberto off of waivers as a Designated Player. Targeted allocation money was used to lower the budget charge of Kennedy Igboananike, freeing a Designated Player slot

Transaction: Chicago Fire (MLS) sign F Didier Drogba and trade him to the Montreal Impact (MLS) in exchange for general and targeted allocation money

Full Name:        Gilberto Oliveira Souza Junior
Position:           Forward
Height:              5’10”
Weight:             155
Born:                June 5, 1989
Place of Birth:  Piranhas, Brazil
Citizenship:      Brazil
Last Club:        Toronto FC
Acquired:         Claimed via waivers on July 26, 2015