The arrival of Khaly Thiam in Chicago adds another midfield option for Veljko Paunovic. Thiam has been acquired on loan from Hungarian side MTK Budapest but in similar fashion to another Fire target, Michael de Leeuw, a competing MLS club held his Discovery Rights. In exchange for that, Chicago sent a conditional 2017 second round SuperDraft pick to the Columbus Crew. If Thiam starts at least 12 games this season, or if his loan deal is extended into a full transfer after the option to buy is exercised, the Crew will receive General Allocation Money instead of the draft pick.
Thiam appeared in 47 matches for MTK Budapest since 2014 and scored four goals in that time. The 22 year old box-to-box midfielder is expected to compete for a starting spot right away and should help the Fire in the possession game that they've been lacking. He ideally could line up in tandem with Matt Polster in a 4-2-3-1 allowing the second year player to take up the "holding role" but he could also challenge Polster for time with Michael Stephens and Razvan Cocis also available to play centrally.
Thiam begins training with his new teammates on Thursday. He is the seventh "international" player on the roster.