BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (March 8, 2019) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced today that the Club has signed 14-year-old Academy product Gabriel Slonina. The goalkeeper joins the Fire as the youngest Homegrown Player signing in MLS history and the 13th Homegrown Player signing in Club history. Slonina is also the second-youngest player signing in MLS history. He is under contract with the Fire through the 2022 season with a Club option for the 2023 season.
“Obviously, we believe that Gabriel has high potential,” said Chicago Fire Soccer Club President and General Manager Nelson Rodrίguez. “While we would always prefer not to sign players at such a young age, a convergence of factors made his signing at this particular moment the right course of action for everyone. We will be patient and deliberate in advancing Gabriel’s development while ensuring he retains some normalcy as a teenager.”
A native of Addison, Ill., Slonina has spent the past three seasons playing in the Chicago Fire Academy, featuring at the U-14, U-15 and U-17 levels. Throughout his three seasons in the Fire Academy, Slonina made 54 appearances (52 starts) while competing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) league.
“The pathway to our first team is clear. We will continue to sign those players who exhibit the right mentality and talent,” said Chicago Fire Academy Technical Director Cedric Cattenoy. “We have a development plan in place for Gabriel and we look forward to continuing to work with him.”
At the international level, Slonina has been called in to the U-14 and U-15 United States Boys’ National Teams for training camps. Most recently, Slonina joined the U-15 USBNT for its first training camp of the year at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif., from Jan. 29-Feb. 6.
Transaction: The Chicago Fire Soccer Club signs goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina as a Homegrown Player on March 8, 2019.
Name: Gabriel Slonina
Weight: 196 lbs.
Date of Birth: May 15, 2004
Birthplace: Addison, Ill.
Citizenship: United States of America, Poland