Following a 2020 campaign that saw Chicago Fire FC integrate 18 new players into its first team, this offseason figures to be a bit quieter in terms of volume of moves.
But while the sporting staff prioritizes continuity, that does not lessen the impact that the transactions the Club does make could have on the 2021 season and beyond.
As we march toward a new year and new schedule of games, we’ll compile all of the Fire's roster moves this offseason right here for easy tracking.
Before we get to it, here are the players who are already guaranteed for next season:
Goalkeeper (4): Chris Brady, Kenneth Kronholm, Bobby Shuttleworth, Gabriel Slonina
Defender (11): Jonathan Bornstein, Francisco Calvo, Jhon Espinoza, Johan Kappelhof, Miguel Navarro, Wyatt Omsberg, Mauricio Pineda, Andre Reynolds II, Boris Sekulić, Nicholas Slonina, Carlos Terán
Midfielder (12): Ignacio Aliseda, Javier Casas Jr., Elliot Collier, Przemysław Frankowski, Gastón Giménez, Brian Gutiérrez, Fabian Herbers, Álvaro Medrán, Djordje Mihailović, Alex Monis, Allan Rodríguez, Luka Stojanović
Forward (2): Robert Berić, Chinonso Offor
November 12, 2020 | Fire Exercise 2021 Options on Four Players
The first order of business this offseason: The Fire exercised contract options for forward Elliot Collier, midfielder Djordje Mihailović, defender Wyatt Omsberg and defender Nicholas Slonina.
As part of the same announcement, the Club parted ways with four players: midfielder Micheal Azira, midfielder Jeremiah Gutjahr, forward CJ Sapong, and goalkeeper Connor Sparrow.
On Nov. 30, the Fire also announced it had declined the contract option for midfielder Brandt Bronico.
November 13, 2020 | Fire Acquire Chinonso Offor
Offor, a 20-year-old striker from Nigeria, joined the Fire after spending the past two-and-a-half seasons in the Latvian first division, where he notched 16 goals and seven assists in 40 games played across all competitions.
November 23, 2020 | Fire Acquire Jhon Espinoza
Espinoza, a 21-year-old defender from Ecuador, made 54 appearances (48 starts) across all competitions while playing in Ecuador’s top-flight.
Internationally, he has earned 15 caps for Ecuador’s U-20 side, including seven appearances in the 2019 U-20 FIFA World Cup, and two caps for the Ecuador National Team. In 2019, Espinoza captained Ecuador’s U-20 team to a first-place finish in the 2019 U-20 South American Championship. He made seven appearances (seven starts) as his home country captured its first-ever championship in the biennial competition.
December 9, 2020 | Fire Acquire Stanislov Ivanvov
Bringing international experience and a lethal left foot, Ivanov joins up with head coach Raphael Wicky’s squad after a nine goal, five assist season for Levski Sofia in the Bulgarian top flight. Overall, the 21-year-old has made 85 appearances (54 starts) across all competitions for Levski Sofia, including five appearances (four starts) in the UEFA Europa League.