The official signing of Djordje Mihailovic as a HomeGrown Player on Friday night brought the current roster of signed players under contract to 22, as of that time. A product of the Fire's previous Academy development regime that has several players in the pipeline, Mihailovic is an attacking midfielder who had committed to joining Cam Lindley and Mauricio Pineda at the University of North Carolina next fall.
We consider Djordje to be a bright talent,” said Fire general manager Nelson Rodríguez via press release. “His signing is a credit to the entire U.S. development system. His formation was aided by past and present Academy staff, U.S. Soccer and Brad Friedel, as well as our current first team staff. We will continue to work in helping Djordje realize his full potential.”
Mihailovic has received recent call-ups to the USMNT U-19 team and Rodriguez told media last October that he had other professional training opportunities before even signing the HomeGrown deal with the club.
Mihailovic may find it difficult to come across first team minutes with the additions of Dax McCarty and Juninho in central midfield and the Fire currently looking to add a more attacked minded midfield presence with a veteran, but he'll have time to develop if given the opportunity to play regularly somewhere. That somewhere may be in the USL with sources indicating that the Fire are slated to finalize a deal with Tulsa Roughnecks FC as an affiliate in the near future. The partnership with Saint Louis FC, which wasn't as successful as either side hoped initially, is ending as Saint Louis looks to become a MLS city in an upcoming round of league expansion.
The signing of SuperDraft picks Stefan Cleveland and Daniel Johnson, announced today, increases the signed roster to 24 players. Both players are signed for this season, with options for 2018, 2019, and 2020.
The current roster:
GK: Lampson, Bava, Cleveland, Konopka*
DEF: Campbell, Kappelhof, Meira, Vincent, Harrington, Doody, Beckie*, Dekovic**, Okwuonu*
MID: Accam, Alvarez, Goossens, Polster, Fernandez, Conner, Calistri, Juninho, Johnson, McCarty, Mihailovic, Bronico**
FWD: De Leeuw, Arshakyan, Nikolic, Solignac, Delgado**
**Unsigned SuperDraft pick