Fire sign Ecuadorian striker Anangonó

JuanLuis Anangono (Reuters)

By IVES GALARCEP

The Chicago Fire offense has looked more dangerous since the arrival of standout forward Mike Magee, but that isn’t stopping the Fire front office from looking to bolster the offense even more.

The Fire have signed Ecuadorian forward Juan Luis Anangonó, the club announced on Tuesday. The 24-year-old striker most recently played for Argentine side Argentinos Juniors, where he spent a season on loan from Ecuadorian side El Nacional.

“Juan Luis is a young, up-and-coming goal scorer who is technically gifted and can hold the ball well,” said Fire President of Soccer Operations Javier Leon. “He provides us with attacking options and will bolster our squad, not only for the second half of the season, but for the future.”

The 6-foot-1 striker is expected to help provide the strong and physical forward presence up top the Fire have spent several years looking for. The Fire are signing Anangonó as a Designated Player, but that designation is tied to the transfer free being paid to acquire him, and not his actual salary.

Anangonó joined the team on Tuesday and is expected to be available for selection for the Fire’s match against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday.

Anangonó’s is expected to mean the end of Sherjill MacDonald’s time with the Fire, though the team has yet to formally announce anything on that front. Leon told local media on Saturday that the team was looking to loan out MacDonald, who has played in just one of the team’s past five matches and has yet to score a goal this season.

What do you think of this development? Excited to see how Anangonó fits into the Fire attack?

Share your thoughts below.

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33 Responses to Fire sign Ecuadorian striker Anangonó

  1. SanFran415 says:

    MacD has a goal this season.

    And who?

    • Jeff says:

      Wasn’t that in a friendly?

      • Rich says:

        Yes, it was in the closing minutes of the friendly with Club America. He has been a huge disappointment. But the Fire’s offense has been really exciting in the last 10 matches since Magee arrived. They’ve even got 3 or 4 guys on the bench who can’t get PT who are also exciting offensive weapons. If Anangono proves to be strong up front I look for them to move Magee or Rolfe back to attacking mid in place of Alex.

        • DDT5583 says:

          No, neither Rolfe nor Magee are suited to play the role Alex is playing currently. Really, the competition extends to the 2 wing positions, as Rolfe can move out right and Nyarko and Duka can both play from either wing as well. Magee isn’t being moved for any reason. Lindpere is going to have to maintain his recent good form to stay on the map if Anangono hits his stride.

  2. slowleftarm says:

    I’m guessing the Ecuadorian league is better than MLS but curious if anyone who knows that league can say how comparable the two leagues are. They’re probably fairly close right?

    • Josh D says:

      I can’t claim to know the Ecuadorian league, but I know the Colombian which I would assume is somewhat similar. What I can say from my observations is skill-wise, Colombia outshines MLS. But organizational-wise, MLS wins.

      I think it’s a general case of MLS being the sum is greater than the parts. In South America, it tends to be the parts are greater than the sum. That’s why you see so many brilliant players from South America, but players who take time adapting to more team work/overall play.

      I find that players from Colombia don’t have the technique of how to kick a ball “properly” or a great understanding of passing, but their skill with the ball and their individual talent is absolutely exceptional. They learn on the streets more than in a formal environment. Whereas in the US, we teach our kids through a formal setting in a formal team.

      It’s why Torres of Philly is such an exceptional talent, skill-wise, but someone who has supposedly taken years to accustom to MLS. Though I disagree with Coach Hack on that.

    • Vic says:

      I would say the Ecuadorian league is a little better at the top level however, MLS has better mid-table and bottom table teams because of the cap and parity. It’s a very subjective question though and you would get different answers depending on who you ask. Regardless, looks like a decent signing, 30 goals in 72 games in Ecuador, he’s young and tall. Could be a good prospect.

    • Josh D says:

      I can’t claim to know the Ecuadorian league, but I know the Colombian which I would @ssume is somewhat similar. What I can say from my observations is skill-wise, Colombia outshines MLS. But organizational-wise, MLS wins.

      I think it’s a general case of MLS being the sum is greater than the parts. In South America, it tends to be the parts are greater than the sum. That’s why you see so many brilliant players from South America, but players who take time adapting to more team work/overall play.

      I find that players from Colombia don’t have the technique of how to kick a ball “properly” or a great understanding of p@ssing, but their skill with the ball and their individual talent is absolutely exceptional. They learn on the streets more than in a formal environment. Whereas in the US, we teach our kids through a formal setting in a formal team.

      It’s why Torres of Philly is such an exceptional talent, skill-wise, but someone who has supposedly taken years to accustom to MLS. Though I disagree with Coach Hack on that.

      – Had to post this three times before I could pass the moderation filters. P@SS!! @SSUME!! Both perfectly acceptable to words.

    • mack says:

      its just one example, but bieler just came from that league and adapted quickly I believe even scoring in his first game. plata also played on the same team as bieler and looks to be one of the best young players in this league. to me the problem is that the signing is midseason, because those signings don’t seem to pan out near as often

      • Modibo says:

        I think the big problem will be adaptation. Apparently Anangono couldn’t take the Argentine league and wanted to go back to Ecuador. Does not bode well for his adaptation to MLS, which I can only assume will be much more different from Ecuador than Argentina, regardless of the totally subjective “level of the league.”

  3. Josh D says:

    I can’t claim to know the Ecuadorian league, but I know the Colombian which I would @ssume is somewhat similar. What I can say from my observations is skill-wise, Colombia outshines MLS. But organizational-wise, MLS wins.

    I think it’s a general case of MLS being the sum is greater than the parts. In South America, it tends to be the parts are greater than the sum. That’s why you see so many brilliant players from South America, but players who take time adapting to more team work/overall play.

    I find that players from Colombia don’t have the technique of how to kick a ball “properly” or a great understanding of p@ssing, but their skill with the ball and their individual talent is absolutely exceptional. They learn on the streets more than in a formal environment. Whereas in the US, we teach our kids through a formal setting in a formal team.

    It’s why Torres of Philly is such an exceptional talent, skill-wise, but someone who has supposedly taken years to accustom to MLS. Though I disagree with Coach Hack on that.

    – Had to post this four times before I could p@ss the moderation filters. P@SS!! @SSUME!! Both perfectly acceptable words.

  4. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Fire is run by idiots! When things are going good, they destroy the team! They signed a no-name Dutchmen only 15 goals in three years!

    Let’s hope Juan Luis Anangonó scores many goals.

    • Rich says:

      I strongly disagree with your “idiots” comment. The Fire does not sign overpaid guys at the end of their career. They look for younger players with the potential to develop into strong pieces of the puzzle. MacD has the size, speed, and shot (potential) to be an exceptional player. IMO he lacks the work ethic and heart to put all that talent to good use. It’s hard to know that until you see how he fits it with the team. Some of them work out…some don’t. So you cut the ties and move on. Doesn’t seem like an idiotic approach to me. They’ve made plenty of moves that have worked out well. Let’s hope this one does also. You don’t know till he gets here and works with the team.

  5. Edwin in LA says:

    This is promising, not a ego driven “star” or old and past their prime Euro or South American player. The DP is because of the transfer fee. I hope that in the next CBA they don’t count transfer fees towards salary cap, rather they should look to limit transfer fees…so they don’t sky rocket…..even then I think the salary cap is enough as it won’t let them go crazy on salaries and thus if they can’t give out huge salaries most likely they can’t bring over players who would command a big transfer fee

    Hopefully it makes the fire more competitive and uts them in the playoff race to make it more entertaining with a more balanced Eastern Division…oh DC you were supposed to be so good….lol well maybe with a good draft DC and Toronto will improve in 2014….

    • Modibo says:

      Unfortunately this looks like a good deal for the same reasons that the MacDone deal looked good – transfer fee but no huge cap hit, player in his prime who should be motivated, etc. Didn’t work out for MacDone. Hope it does for Anangono, but not holding my breath.

      • Edwin in LA says:

        Except McDonald had scored a sad 15 goals in 3 years….I think this guy could easily score 10 this year based on his work in South America and how the Fire are clicking much more fluently now….

    • Dudester says:

      What r u talking about Edwin.They shouldn’t limit transfer fees or salary cap like you suggest.Instead they need to raise both the salary cap and what the MLS front office is willing to spend on transfers.Raising both at a steady rate every CBA would not be detrimental to the leagues stability.

      • Edwin in LA says:

        You make no sense….perhaps you didn’t understand what I said, I CLEARLY stated that the Transfer Fees SHOULD NOT count towards the salary cap….that means that a player like Anangono could still be purchased thru the free agency market but he wouldn’t be a DP unless they paid him 400K+ or what not….

        I agree they need to raise the salary cap, and big time, it’s less than 3 million, I think it needs to be at 6 or 7 million. But the limit on Transfer fees would be more to prevent teams from splurging 25 or 30 million on players….10 maybe 15 million for MLS I think it’s okay….but past that and it’s dangerous as the teams still aren’t generating enough money to cover those expenses

  6. Esteban de la Sexface says:

    It’s the Ecuadorian Sherjil MacDonald!!

  7. Ben says:

    As a fire fan I am not that excited about this player. Looks like the past year has been a rough one for Anangonó. 5 goals in 32 games while loaned to Argentinos Juniors in Argentina which he wanted to get out of and return to Ecuador, not MLS. And his highlight videos show him mostly poaching goals. Not much in the way of creating his own chances or chances for other team members. Not sure I want to sit either Magee or Rolfe for this guy. Amarikwa also showed a lot of heart last weekend, and I would like to see more of him as well in the future coming off the bench in a forward position. I have a feeling this will be another bust for the Fire.

    • RP says:

      There is nothing wrong with a good poacher and playing him high with Magee deep would do well for us. He looks like he reads the game well. I am not some soccer scout, but they seem to have a new formula in our hometown and that is actually scouting players.

      They want a Fredy Montero and they want it bad. Magee is the key to the Fires future. He is the marketable tough, hard working Chicago guy that people love. We love that in our city’s sports landscape. This guy is important, but he is there to make Magee even better.

      We want to see Magee get 15 goals and 10 assists, a poacher will help make that happen.

      • Sam says:

        I totally agree with this. In Chicago we love the gutsy hardworking player like Magee and having a good somewhat flashy “Montero-type” poacher would be a great balance to that. I know if this pans out well that I will really enjoy watching!

  8. El Paso tx says:

    I feel bad for fire. First of all name is weird, stadium could be more than what it is, Chicago deserves a galaxy or red bull team. I really don’t see a good future in fire but u never know, MLS needs to find foreign owners from other soccer leagues, just like nycfc did it and even dc or Orlando and Becky’s with claure. MLS should have name this team Chicago city blue stars and should have waited on the stadium situation.

    • Jerrod says:

      Fire is better

    • THomas says:

      The Chicago flag has RED stars and that’s what the women’s team name is. But in general, I agree with your thoughts on the stadium situation. If the team had a downtown stadium, it would be filled every game.

      • Lava Lamp says:

        Not so fast. Soldier Field has become insanely expensive. Attendance was light for most games there. I was at the last Eastern Conference finals at Soldier field and there was less than 10k at the game. Also, the park district refused to cut the grass short for soccer games and left it long to please the Bears. Toyota Park has been a much more friendly place to play. The Fire were pulling in good numbers at the end of the Blanco era and much of the following season, until fans realized that the Fire couldn’t score goals. If the Fire want to fill seats, they have to win games.

    • Coco says:

      i don’t know why foreign owners would be better. i don’t get that.

      i agree on the name Fire though. I’ll never understand why they have named soccer clubs after natural (and unnatural disasters)- Fire, Earthquakes, Burn, etc. It makes me cringe.

      • Sam says:

        For the Fire specifically its a reflection of our cities response and the heritage of digging in with hardwork after the Great Chicago Fire that made the city much more than it was before.

      • DDT5583 says:

        Yeah man. The Fire was a transformational event in this city, and is represented by one of the stars on our flag. Personally, I think it’s one of the best names in sport, and is a real testament to the genius of Peter Wilt.

  9. Joe says:

    This guy looks like a big, physical type center forward. Hopefully he would allow Magee to roam around the field more and create things for everyone. Our team is really taking form and moving in the right direction. Lets hope this guy does his job and puts in the work for us.

  10. steve says:

    thank goodness mac d is gone. taylor twellman called him out on an espn broadcast for loafing. at his salary he has been total disgrace. and the fire apparently followed him and wanted him for a few years. i hope they did well with this signing but i will wait and see before i even think of getting excited

  11. gaucho.alumn says:

    looks pretty good, I bet he does well in MLS

    link to youtube.com

    • Kiphino says:

      I guess the Fire are now going to rely on a strategy of knocking long balls forward and hoping the defense misses their mark or the goal keeper drops crosses because that’s how he scored most of his goals in that clip.

      And since when do wild misses make a highlight reel?