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Fire sign Adailton to help boost defense

The Fire’s back line was a constant source of frustration during the 2014 season. On Tuesday, they added another piece to the 2015 group, but more reinforcement is needed.

Adailton, a 31-year-old central defender who last played with Brazil’s Esporte Clube Bahia, was signed to a contract. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Adailton is not coming to Chicago on a Designated Player contract.

“I look forward to working with my new teammates and coach Frank Yallop and his staff to take on the challenge of returning the Fire to the playoffs and giving the Fire supporters the trophies they deserve,” Adailton said in a news release.

To do that, Adailton probably cannot be the last addition to the club’s back line. Of the Fire’s four starting defenders to begin 2014, only right back Lovel Palmer is slated to return. Bakary Soumare was taken by the Montreal Impact in the re-entry draft, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado was dealt this summer to Chivas USA, and Gonzalo Segares’ option wasn’t picked up.

As of now the Fire’s back line consists of Adailton, Palmer, converted midfielder Jeff Larentowicz, newly acquired Joevin Jones and Eric Gehrig, reserve Greg Cochrane and incoming Homegrown Player Patrick Doody. Though Palmer grew into a fan favorite and Larentowicz showed flashes at his new position during the second half of last season, the back line needs more new blood before training camp begins next month.

Adailton, however, could be a valuable part of a group that struggled frequently during the 2014 season.

“Adaílton is a strong, powerful defender,” Fire coach Frank Yallop said in a news release. “This is a position we were looking to fill, so I’m pleased that we will be adding a player with his experience to our team.”

That’s something Adailton has. He’s played in Brazil, France, Switzerland and China during a professional career that began in 2002.

“It is with great satisfaction that I will continue my career with the Chicago Fire and play in Major League Soccer,” Adailton said in a news release. “I have been watching MLS closely over the past several seasons and ever since 2004 while in France, I made it a goal of mine to play in the United States. I had other opportunities to join MLS clubs in the past but the timing was not right until this challenge with the Fire.”