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Oppo Research: 5 Things to know about Chicago Fire

The 24th-best team in MLS last year sold their two top players and have yet to settle on a starting goalkeeper — but they signed Kei Kamara just last night.

Cute family | Courtesy Kai Kamara

1. Chicago sold their two best players for $35 million

It came as no surprise when the Chicago Fire’s FO sold Jhon Durán last month — the 19-year-old forward was one of the few bright spots in a fairly dismal 2022, and it was common knowledge that the marketplace would jump at the chance to sign the promising player. But the reported $20 million fee paid by Aston Villa turned heads, especially when you add that to the reported $15 million the club made when they sold goalkeeper Gaga Slonina to Chelsea last year. Now billionaire Fire owner Joe Mansueto has another $35 million in the bank — and Chicago no longer has the two best players who took the field for them last year.

2. The goalkeeper situation is TBD

Now that Slonina is kicking it in West London, the number-one goalkeeper spot is up for grabs. (Sound familiar?) Head coach Ezra Hendrickson pointedly refused to name his pick for who will be in the bet to face New York City FC this Saturday, stating “I am 100% sure that NYCFC is watching this right now, so I’m going to defer as far as not answering that question. We have a pretty good idea of who will be starting on Saturday but are just not going to go into that right now.” 

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