The Chicago Fire announced today the signing of Dutch forward Sherjill MacDonald as the team's latest designated player. MacDonald is already in Chicago and training with the team but will not be eligible to play until the team is able to clear an international spot on their roster. We assume that will require the team to trade for an additional international spot, trade an international player or release an international player.
The 6 foot and a half, 27-year-old striker joins the Fire from Germinal Beerschot AC of the Belgian Pro League. After moving to Beerschot from Antwerp in 2009, MacDonald has scored 15 goals in 89 appearances. He's also played in England and the Netherlands at the professional level, including a stint at West Bromwich Albion.
"We have followed Sherjill's career over the course of the last year and we are happy to bring him to Chicago," said Fire President of Soccer Operations Javier Leon. "Sherjill adds to our attacking options and is a professional on the field and in the locker room."
"Sherjill is a goal scorer who can hold the ball up, attack with pace and is very technically sound," said Fire head coach Frank Klopas. "He has competed at a high level in Europe and will bolster our attack as we make a push toward the MLS Cup Playoffs."
When MacDonald is finally cleared to play, it will be interesting to see how much of an impact he can make. Thanks to the designated player label, the expectation on MacDonald will be high. With several other teams in the Eastern Conference making additions as the transfer window prepares to close later this week, it makes sense that Fire would react in an attempt to hold on to their playoff position.
As always, per club and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.