During the first season of Frank Yallop’s tenure with the Fire they swung and missed on their two biggest known transfer targets. They lost U.S. national team midfielder Jermaine Jones via a draw to New England in a process that raised questions about league transparency while infuriating Fire fans, and saw a deal with Argentine forward Silvio Romero fall through at the last minute when his team pulled out of the transaction.
That trend hasn’t continued into the offseason, and now the Fire have added a player they think is on the level of Jones and Romero.
After over a week of speculation, the Fire on Friday announced the signing of Ghanaian attacker David Accam to a Designated Player contract. Accam, 24, scored 30 goals in 62 appearances of three seasons for Swedish club Helsingborg, drawing the attention of teams all over the world.
Reportedly, teams in England and Mexico were pursuing him, but the Fire finalized the signing.
“I’m really excited to be a part of MLS and the Chicago Fire,” Accam said in a release. “The commitment that the Fire showed me was the main reason I chose Chicago over other offers that I had. I would also like to thank the coach Frank Yallop and the owner Andrew Hauptman for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to play for the Fire. I cannot wait to repay their faith.”
Accam was in Chicago to complete the deal, one that continues a busy offseason for the Fire.
Accam joins fellow offseason signing Kennedy Igboananike as a DP. They’ve also added defenders Eric Gehrig and Joevin Jones, plus midfielder Michael Stephens. Collin Fernandez will join as a Homegrown player, and they also re-signed Patrick Nyarko and Lovel Palmer.
“David is an exciting, creative player with a goal-scoring mentality,” Yallop said in a statement. “I’m pleased that David will be joining the Fire. He’s a key piece as we continue to build a deep squad in preparation for the 2015 season and we’re looking forward to having him on our team.”
The Fire also have one more DP spot to use after the sale of forward Juan Luis Anangono to Mexico’s Universidad de Guadalajara. After loaning Anangono to LDU Quito in July, the Fire finished the season without a DP.
They will start 2015 with at least two.
NOTE: The Fire will play in the first game of the MLS season when they visit the defending-champion Los Angeles Galaxy on Friday, March 6. Their home opener will be Saturday, March 14 against the Vancouver Whitecaps, and the Fire will also visit San Jose on Sunday, March 22 when the Earthquakes open the new Avaya Stadium. The rest of the schedule is expected to be released in the next few weeks.