BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (Jan. 22, 2019) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced today that it has signed Academy product Jeremiah Gutjahr. He joins the Fire after progressing through the Indiana Fire Academy, a member of the Fire youth development system. Gutjahr is under contract for the 2019 season with a Club option for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 seasons. The midfielder is the 11th Homegrown Player signing in Club history.
“I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to play for the Chicago Fire,” said Gutjahr. “It has been a dream of mine since I was in the Academy to be able to represent the Club and the city of Chicago at the highest level. For a Club that has given me so much, I’m so excited to give everything I have back to the Club. I can’t wait to continue working alongside and learning from such a great group of people.”
Gutjahr, 21, originally joined the Fire’s youth system at age 15, becoming the team captain for the U-15/16 and U-17/18 Indiana Fire Juniors Academy teams. While playing in the Fire’s Academy, Gutjahr was named to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s Best XI for the U17/18 age group, ranking as one of the top 11 players in the Central Conference during the 2014-15 campaign. He also competed for the Chicago Fire PDL in 2016, playing in 12 matches and tallying 847 minutes played in the USL League Two season.
“Jeremiah made a positive impression while in our environment a few years back, and we monitored his progress at Indiana University closely,” said Chicago Fire Soccer Club President and General Manager Nelson Rodriguez. “He is of the highest character and, simply, an effective player who can fill several roles.”
The Bloomington, Ind., native has also been called up to the U-18 and U-20 U.S. Men’s National Teams. He has earned three caps for the U-20s, featuring against Haiti, Mexico and El Salvador as the U.S. claimed its first U-20 Concacaf Championship on March 5, 2017.
“We're very excited to have Jeremiah with us, and we look forward to working with him in the upcoming season,” said Chicago Fire Soccer Club Head Coach Veljko Paunovic. “He has good examples in front of him to follow, and we believe he has all that he needs to succeed in our environment.”
At the collegiate level, Gutjahr recently capped off a four-year playing career at Indiana University (2015-18), appearing in 71 matches (61 starts). In 2018, Gutjahr appeared in all 24 matches (23 starts) for the Hoosiers, who were ranked No. 1 in the nation in his senior season. In his final season, Gutjahr helped lead the Hoosiers to the most shutouts (15) in the NCAA, the second-most single season wins (20) in program history, the Big Ten regular season championship and the Big Ten Tournament championship. Gutjahr also appeared in each of the Hoosier’s four matches in the 2018 College Cup, helping to guide the team to a semifinal appearance in the national tournament.
Gutjahr will join defender Grant Lillard and midfielder Djordje Mihailovic as Homegrown Players currently signed to the Fire’s 2019 roster.
Transaction: Chicago Fire Soccer Club signs midfielder Jeremiah Gutjahr as a Homegrown Player on Jan. 22, 2019.
Name: Jeremiah Gutjahr
Weight: 160 lbs.
Date of Birth: Aug. 10, 1997
Birthplace: Bloomington, Ind.
Citizenship: United States of America