The Fire's transfer deal for Shaun Maloney has been completed and the Scottish attacker will begin training with the team tomorrow morning. He will be introduced at a press conference to be streamed live at chicago-fire.com at 9:15 AM. As reported here Friday the deal with Wigan was agreed to late last week but the completion of league and transfer paperwork precluded the announcement from being made until now. With the Fire beginning training tomorrow morning, the club announced the move on Sunday afternoon rather than wait until Monday morning only minutes before training.
"I'm very happy to be joining the Fire," said Maloney via a press release. "I owe a lot to the manager Frank Yallop and the owner Andrew Hauptman for getting this done. I certainly didn't expect it to get done this quickly, so I appreciate the faith that they've shown in me."
Maloney turned 32 on Saturday and missed time at Wigan last season due to hip surgery but he's been in good form with the Scottish National team and has played well recently at Wigan leading to interest from Premier League clubs and others abroad. If he can remain healthy he is still a very dangerous attacker who excels at dead ball opportunities and will assume the central playmaker role that the Fire have been missing since the departure of Sebastian Grazzini.
Yallop has insisted all winter that it was very important to have as many players on board for training from the start of camp this season and the completion of the transfer with Wigan has allowed him to have his playmaker from the get go. With David Accam participating in the Africa Cup of Nations and Sean Johnson with the USMNT, the Fire will have close to a complete roster to begin training at the Bridgeview Sports Dome tomorrow. As expected, the club also announced that Alex has re-signed.
The current roster:
Goalkeepers: Johnson, Kann, Pais*
Defenders: Palmer, Adailton, Larentowicz, Jones, Cochrane, Doody, Gehrig, Polster**, Gaul*, De Wilde*
Midfielders: Cocis, Fernandez, Nyarko, Ritter, Shipp, Stephens, Watson, Alex, Maloney, Shinsky**
Forwards: Accam, Amarikwa, do Prado, Magee, Igboananike, Bryce**