Fire win lottery for midfielder Joya

The Fire's midfield competition got a little more interesting with the addition of Santos Laguna's Benji Joya via an MLS lottery draw. The US youth player was made available after signing with the league on a one year loan with a transfer option. Seattle and Real Salt Lake were also interested in acquiring him but the Fire had the best odds due to a lower finish in 2013.

Joya was born in San Jose and joined Santos Laguna in 2012. He has played mostly with their U-20 side but has made 4 appearances in Liga MX matches. He is also a US youth international who participated in the U-20 World Cup last summer. Victor Pineda was also a part of that squad although he did not appear in any games.

In Joya, the Fire have added a 20 year old midfielder with a big upside who can play in various spots. His first position is in central midfield where he can play box to box and has the potential to be a playmaker. He has also played out wide and in the holding role.

Filed under: 2014 Pre Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


Leave a comment
  • Is the transfer option realistic? Seems like some good business to pick him up. That is a position we could really use some youth in and he seems like a good player.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    It would seem so.

  • Is it true Bridgeview is losing money on Toyota Park? I think I read it in the Trib.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    If you read it in the Trib it must be so. ;)

  • I don't know about Joya. Sure, he's played on the US U-20s, has some time in Mexico, but he hasn't tested himself in the Uruguayan system or the Belgian 2nd division. Can't we get someone with some experience from somewhere, anywhere outside the US who may or may not be able to adapt to Chicago? Can't we get someone with a great highlight reel against opponents of variable or unknown quality? Can't we get someone at a DP level with absolutely no league bona fides who we will have to loan out in a year or two?

    On a serious note, it does seem like we're acquiring or promoting players with lots of great potential (Shipp, Pineda, Ritter, Dacres etc etc). I do wish our next acquisition would be a proven difference maker, though realistically I know it's not gonna happen until we move out someone with high value and/or a high salary.

    What's really remarkable is how Joya did not go to Seattle. Isn't that how things are supposed to work in MLS? I mean, he should go to Seattle and have his salary paid for 3 years by the league, really. After all if you don't do that then he might just get all jealous of Dempsey etc.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    This made me chuckle.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    I also had a nice chuckle from this.

  • Sounds like a good pick up. Although I don't think the Fire has enough quality to lift them above also rans, I do have faith in our new technical staff who unlike Petri et al are all professional football people. Hope springs eternal.

  • Overall, despite only having one draft choice in the first round, with the home grown players, picking up Gentile and now with Joya, the Fire ended up pretty much with the the equivalent of 5 first round
    players. I can't remember when the Fire had so many young players
    with promise in camp. King, Gulley (what ever happened to him, at one time one of the highest rated 17 y/o's) and possibily Atouba could be hard pressed to make the club. Too bad they don't have an USL tie in, they have enough players to stock a quality USL team.
    Although the starting lineup, except for Magee, isn't that much different than last year, they are a much deeper team and I still expect the Fire to make the playoffs even without a major acquisition

  • fb_avatar

    Lottery? You mean scratch off ticket.

Leave a comment