The Fire announced this afternoon that midfielder Julio Martinez will join the club on loan from Mexican second division side Club Leon FC. Martinez, who played for Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos on the El Salvadoran National Team, for which he has scored two goals in ten appearances.
"Julio is a true professional with a winner's mentality who will come in and help our team," said de los Cobos. "I could not be happier about his signing and look forward to incorporating him in with the rest of the guys." The 24-year-old Martinez will play an active role in the Fire's attempt to replace attackers Chris Rolfe and Cuauhtemoc Blanco, both of whom left Chicago this offseason to ply their trade abroad.
"Martinez is an exciting player who's known for his middle-range shooting and ability to score goals," said Technical Director Frank Klopas. "I think he'll make an excellent addition to our roster."
Per MLS policy, terms of the loan weren't released.
Between today's signing, yesterday's report that Krzysztof Krol will be joining the Fire, and last week's draft, the Fire's roster is starting to take a definitive shape. Klopas and de los Cobos, who have emphasized their desire to bring attacking, attractive soccer to Toyota Park for the entire offseason, have stayed true to their word so far; bringing in players that fit that system through both the draft and transfer market. It should be exciting to see how these guys all do on the field next season. I think it's more than fair to expect another appearance in the Conference final come November 2010.