Chicago Fire: What to know about Ezra Hendrickson’s squad for the start of the 2023 MLS season
MLS side Chicago Fire have sold two of their star players to the Premier League.
Chicago Fire have had to wait a while longer than most and get their MLS season underway in March. After a lowly finish in 2022, they will be hoping for more this year.
Chicago Fire lose top talents
The Fire have sold two of their star players to the Premier League. Goalkeeper Gaga Slonina has joined Chelsea, while Colombia international Jhon Durán has moved to Unai Emery’s Aston Villa for a reported $22 million.
Last week the club announced the signing of forward Kei Kamara from CF Montréal. Montréal will receive $250,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) split across two seasons, receiving $125,000 in 2023 and $125,000 in 2024. The Canadian outfit could receive an additional $150,000 in conditional GAM if certain performance-based incentives are met. With Montréal, he scored nine goals and registered seven assists in 1,551 regular season minutes played.
One to watch
The Chicago team’s best player is Xherdan Shaqiri. The creative forward scored seven goals and provided 11 assists last season after joining from Lyon. With the departure of Durán, there will be more pressure on the Swiss man’s shoulders this season.
Who is Ezra Hendrickson?
Ezra Hendrickson will be hoping to improve on the club’s 12th-place Eastern Conference finish last season. The 51-year-old has been at the club since November 2021 having had assistant managerial spells with Columbus Crew and LA Galaxy. He likes to set up his Fire side in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
First home game of the new MLS season
Chicago Fire’s 2023 season home opener is against New York City FC on Saturday 4 March.