It just wouldn't be a Fire soccer season without one or two failed Designated Players. Another DP is moving on from Chicago. First Gilberto was dismissed and now Kennedy Igboananike is on his way to DC United.
Igboananike was traded to DC in exchange for Targeted Allocation Money and DC's third round selection in the 2019 SuperDraft. Since the Fire are apparently picking up a substantial portion of his remaining salary for the year, his DP tag and budget hit will remain on Chicago's books. The Fire will retain a percentage of any transfer fee if Igboananike is moved outside of MLS this season.
"Moves like this are needed in order to execute our plan for roster development," said General Manager Nelson Rodriguez via press release.
Igboananike scored 11 goals and added 4 assists in 49 games with the Fire and was tied with David Accam this season for the team lead with 4 goals. His work rate was usually there even if the quality in the final third always wasn't. He didn't seem to fit into the offense after the addition of Michael de Leeuw since his best position is at striker and he didn't appear comfortable playing wide outside. He'll join a DC side in need of some offense with Chris Rolfe still ailing and Fabian Espindola traded away.
The Fire weren't likely to pick up his option for 2017 so he didn't appear to be in the plans for next year at his current rate. Moving him now doesn't do much for this season but it does open a Designated Player and international roster spot for next year. They also have additional TAM with which to buy down contracts and provide roster flexibility.
With the MLS transfer window closing on Wednesday, the Fire are still in the market for at least one attacker. Sources indicate that a young non-DP forward from overseas is close to being added. A lot can happen in the next few days as the deadline approaches but any hope for a big name DP may have to be postponed until January.
Just another Fire soccer season.