Under sporting director Georg Heitz and coach Raphael Wicky, the Fire have made it clear they’re trying to build something long term.
Wednesday’s signing of Argentine winger Ignacio Aliseda is more evidence.
Aliseda, 19, joined the Fire as a young designated player (which are a lower charge on the salary cap than standard designated players). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and Aliseda is under contract through the 2023 season after joining from Argentina’s Defensa y Justicia.
Aliseda is the first young designated player in Fire history, and will take up an international slot.
“Ignacio is already such an impressive player despite being only 19 years old,” Wicky said in a news release. “He is very quick and technically gifted and has a great mentality. We’re very excited to add Ignacio to our roster and we expect him to be a key contributor for us moving forward.”
Aliseda figures to slot into the left side of the Fire attack, adding more speed opposite right winger Przemyslaw Frankowski. He also represents a departure from recent Designated Player signings by the Fire, and is considerably younger than last year’s DPs Bastian Schweinsteiger, Aleksandar Katai, and Nemanja Nikolic.
In 2018, Aliseda started his professional career with Defensa y Justicia. He made 38 appearances for the club, and also has played twice for Argentina’s Under-23 National Team.
The Fire still have one designated player spot left to use after signing Aliseda and striker Robert Beric. Reports from Argentina say the Fire will add defensive midfielder Gaston Gimenez as the third designated player. Gimenez, 28, plays for Argentina’s Velez Sarsfield.