Not long after being selected in the 10th round of the Expansion Draft by Orlando City SC, former Columbus Crew defender Eric Gehrig found himself in a familiar place. The Crown Point , Indiana native and Loyola University alum was traded by Orlando to his hometown club in Chicago. The Fire acquired the Right of First Refusal on his contract in exchange for a second round pick in the 2016 MLS Superdraft.
Gehrig, who is also a Fire PDL product, took to twitter to announce his excitement upon completion of the trade.
— Eric Gehrig (@eGehrig16) December 10, 2014
Gehrig was out of contract with Columbus and left unprotected in the expansion draft. He should provide some depth and coverage at centerback but can also play in the holding mid role. He made 48 appearances with the Crew from 2011 to 2014. "Honestly, there aren't many words to give justice to how thrilled I am to come back to Chicago. The Fire have been in my blood since I was a kid in the stands at Soldier Field watching Piotr Nowak and Josh Wolff. I've worked hard throughout my career, this is something I've always had in the back of my mind and I can't believe it's actually happening," said Gehrig.
A day after signing Naperville's Michael Stephens the Fire have added another local role player who should help. Frank Yallop and company have more work to do however, and the next few weeks may be just as busy as this one has been.
The first stage of the Re-Entry Draft takes places on Friday.