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MLS Oct 12, 2021

Chicago Fire signs 18-year-old Academy forward Missael Rodríguez

CHICAGO – Chicago Fire FC today announced that the Club has signed Academy forward Missael Rodríguez to a Homegrown Player contract.

Rodríguez, 18, has been a standout in the Chicago Fire Academy since 2017 and is the 21st Homegrown signing in Club history. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2022, Rodríguez’s contract will run through 2025 with a Club option for 2026.

“Missael is a promising young player who has demonstrated strong finishing qualities,” said Chicago Fire FC Technical Director Sebastian Pelzer. “We are excited to continue helping him develop and to see his qualities improve within the first-team environment.”

Rodríguez is the seventh Homegrown Player to sign with the first team since Jan. 2020. Additionally, with Rodríguez’s signing, the Club currently has nine homegrowns under contract through the 2022 season.

“It’s a dream come true to sign for my hometown club,” said Rodríguez. “Thank you to my coaches, family and friends for helping me achieve this goal.”

A Chicago native, Rodríguez joined the Fire Academy at the end of the 2017-18 season, scoring 10 goals and registering three assists in 19 games at the U-15 level. Most recently, Rodriguez scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute to propel the Fire U-19 team to a 1-0 victory over Solar SC, capturing the inaugural 2021 MLS NEXT U-19 Championship on July 3. Additionally, Rodríguez earned the Golden Boot for the U-19 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs with a tournament-high eight goals in five matches. Led by head coach Ludovic Taillandier and assistant coach Patrick Nyarko, the Fire U-19 squad finished the tournament with a perfect 4-0-0 record. The Fire scored 17 goals, conceding only four.

“Since joining the Academy, Missael has improved each year and has confirmed his qualities as a goal-scorer,” said Chicago Fire FC Academy Technical Director Cedric Cattenoy. “Signing with the Fire is a testament to his qualities and to the hard work and commitment from him and the Academy staff.”

Rodríguez will be recognized at Soldier Field during halftime of the Fire’s regular season home finale against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, Oct. 23.

Transaction: Chicago Fire FC sign Missael Rodríguez to a Homegrown Player contract on Oct. 12, 2021. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2022, the contract will run through 2025 with a Club option for 2026.

Name: Missael Rodríguez
Position: Forward
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 162 lbs.
Date of Birth: Feb. 9, 2003
Birthplace: Chicago, Ill.
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Citizenship: United States of America
High School: Forest Trail Academy

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