The Fire has confirmed [an AP report](http://www.usatoday.com/sports/soccer/2009-10-29-2733898366_x.htm) that midfielder Cuauhtemoc Blanco will be leaving the club at the end of the year to join Mexican second division club Veracruz.
Blanco, who played for Veracruz in 2004, is in the final year of a three year contract he signed with the Fire prior to the 2007 season. The terms of Blanco's new deal were not disclosed, but Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas said that he will continue to work with Blanco's agent to try and bring Temo back "for the second half of the 2010 season and beyond." Blanco, who has five goals and eight assists in 21 games this year, joins fellow attacker Chris Rolfe in leaving the Fire after the 2009 campaign. The Fire loses their most creative player in Blanco and his vision and decisiveness on the ball will be missed next season.
Blanco's departure makes it paramount that the Fire does whatever they can to bring back forward Brian McBride and midfielder Marco Pappa -- both of whom would be leading attackers on the 2010 roster.
Here are the full quotes (per the AP) from Blanco and Klopas.
> "I had a great experience in the MLS, where they treated me very well, but at this stage of my career there were some clubs from the Mexican league that wanted me to come home," Blanco said on his Web site. "I will start a new stage in Veracruz, a place where I used to play and I promised to come back."
> "We respect his desire to continue playing in Mexico during the MLS offseason and continue preparing for the 2010 World Cup, which is a top priority for him," Klopas said. "We will continue our dialogue with his agent regarding Blanco playing for the Fire in the second half of the 2010 season and beyond."
I'll have more specifics on the move later on in the evening/tomorrow morning so stay tuned for that. Until then, feel free to share your thoughts on Blanco's departure in the comments section below.