Burley: From Wigan to lovely Chicago?
Scotland striker Shaun Maloney has completed his move from Wigan to MLS side Chicago Fire, as ESPN FC reported last Friday.
ESPN FC sources have confirmed that Maloney rejected offers to stay in English football to make the move to America, with the ex-Celtic striker relishing the challenge in Chicago.
Shaun Maloney is set to join Chicago Fire on Saturday after the Major League Soccer club agreed a fee with Wigan Athletic.
The Fire have been keen to sign Maloney, who turns 31 on Saturday, for some time but have only now been able to agree a fee with Championship club Wigan.
"We've agreed terms with Chicago Fire for Shaun to leave imminently, so that is something that is going to be happening in the next day or so," Wigan boss Malky Mackay told BBC Radio Manchester.
Wigan confirmed earlier this month that they had accepted a bid from Leicester City for Scotland international Maloney but the move fell through as the Premier League side could not agree personal terms.
ESPN FC has been told that Maloney, who began his career with Celtic and also had a stint with Aston Villa, had turned down offers to stay in England as he had always been keen to explore the possibility of playing in MLS.
Maloney's contract at Wigan is due to expire at the end of June and the club were eager to cash in rather than let him leave on a free transfer, despite finding themselves immersed in a relegation battle.
"There's a deal been struck as to why Shaun's not going to be waiting until the summer," Mackay added. "There's a financial situation and I'm respectful of the club's position -- I've got to be prudent in terms of the saving that we will make on Shaun's wages and the transfer fee that can then be put to other things."
Mackay also confirmed on Friday that midfielder Ben Watson is set to join fellow Championship side Watford.
Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire will find out this week whether they have been successful in their pursuit of Scotland and Wigan Athletic forward Shaun Maloney, sources have told ESPN FC.
The interest from Chicago was first registered last November, with 31-year-old Maloney interested in exploring the possibility of making a move to America's MLS, even though he is believed to have expressed a preference to return to a Premier League club if possible.
Leicester City had a bid for the player rejected last week and Wigan are currently mulling over a fresh offer submitted by the Premier League strugglers in recent days, with Maloney certain to make a move this month as he will be out of contract an the end of this season.
Maloney's former club Celtic are also interested in re-signing the attacking star, with manager Ronny Deila confirming he would like to sign the former Aston Villa star this month.
"He is a good player and is one we know about," Celtic boss Deila told reporters when asked about Maloney last week. "He is at Wigan at the moment but we will wait and see. I have seen him many times. He is a quick, creative player and is a very good person with a great mentality. He looks like a Celtic player."
Wigan boss Malky Mackay has confirmed Maloney is the subject of plenty of transfer interest, as the club prepares to say farewell one of the stars of their 2013 FA Cup final triumph against Manchester City.
"There is serious interest in him from a few clubs," Mackay said. "If it is something that suits Shaun and suits ourselves, then it is something that we can deal with and it is something that might happen."
Steven Gerrard heading to LA Galaxy
The Chicago Fire have signed Trinidadian defender Joevin Jones, the club announced on Wednesday.
Jones, 23, has 37 caps with the Trinidad and Tobago national team, and joins MLS after a loan spell with HJK in Finland.
"We're pleased that Joevin will be joining the Fire," Fire coach Frank Yallop said in a statement. "He's a versatile player and is a great addition as we build a squad that will compete in 2015."
Jones has spent most of his career with Trinidadian club W Connection, before moving to Helsinki on loan earlier this year.
The move comes one day after the Fire signed Nigerian-born striker Kennedy Igboananike as a designated player.
The Chicago Fire have signed Nigerian-born striker Kennedy Igboananike to a designated player contract, the team confirmed on Tuesday.
Igboananike, 25, is a dual citizen in Nigeria as well as Sweden, where he has played since 2007, most recently with AIK.
"Kennedy is a dynamic goal-scorer with a track record of producing," Fire coach Frank Yallop said in a statement. "He's young and exciting, a player with incredible pace, and we look forward to adding him to our roster to bolster our attack."
Igboananike scored 14 goals in 2013 but was limited to just five goals in 26 league matches this year.
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Florent Sinama-Pongolle scored in the first minute of stoppage time to help Chicago beat the Houston Dynamo 2-1 on Friday night to end the Fire's eight-game winless streak.
Sinama-Pongolle headed home Grant Ward's cross and immediately ran over to the Chicago bench to hug Logan Pause, who is retiring after a 12-year career with the Fire.
Houston (11-17-6) opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Omar Cummings headed in Brad Davis' corner kick.
Chicago's Jeff Larentowicz converted a penalty kick in the 66th minute after Ward was tripped inside the penalty area by goalkeeper Tyler Deric.
Goalkeeper Sean Johnson kept Chicago (6-10-18) in the match with three athletic saves in the 34th and 35th minutes.
It was Dominic Kinnear's final game as coach of the Dynamo after nine seasons. He will be the coach of the San Jose Earthquakes next season.
Chicago Fire winger Patrick Nyarko suffered a torn ACL and sprained MCL in his right knee during Saturday's 2-1 loss to D.C. United, his club confirmed on Wednesday.
Nyarko, 28, will undergo surgery and be sidelined for about six to eight months.
The Ghanaian, who has played for Chicago since being drafted out of Virginia Tech in 2008, already missed three months this season with a knee sprain.
He only returned to the starting lineup earlier this month.
"Knowing the work he put in to get back and help us this season, we feel awful for Patrick," Fire coach Frank Yallop said in a statement. "We saw his return to form over the past few weeks and fully support him in his recovery efforts."
WASHINGTON -- Chris Pontius and Eddie Johnson scored and D.C. United beat the Chicago Fire 2-1 on Saturday night.
United (17-9-7) stretched its unbeaten streak to five games, clinching first place in the Eastern Conference -- and the biggest single-season turnaround in MLS history, rebounding from last year's 24-loss season.
United opened the scoring at the 31-minute mark when Pontius headed a perfect cross from Eddie Johnson past Kyle Renish into the lower left corner. It was Pontius' first goal after missing most of the season due to injury.
Johnson added to the total in the 53rd minute, forcing a turnover in the Chicago end and firing a shot to upper left corner for his seventh goal of the season.
Harrison Shipp scored his seventh for Chicago (5-10-18) in the 67th minute. The Fire are winless in eight matches.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Dominic Dwyer headed in his 21st goal of the season to help Kansas City clinch a playoff spot and beat the Chicago Fire 2-0 on a rainy Friday night.
Kansas City (14-11-7) moved into second place in the Eastern Conference, three points behind D.C. United. Chicago (5-9-18) had its winless streak hit seven matches.
Dwyer is three goals back of New York's Bradley Wright-Phillips in the race for the Golden Boot trophy. Dwyer sailed a penalty kick over the crossbar in the 13th minute.
Sporting took a 1-0 lead in the 80th minute on Graham Zusi's curled shot from distance.
Chicago's Matthew Fondy had a deflected ball fall to him at the top of the 6-yard box in the 91st minute, but Kansas City goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum stretched out for the save. It was Gruenebaum's third clean sheet of the season.
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- The Chicago Fire added an 18th draw to their MLS record for ties in a season and dropped from playoff contention with a 0-0 draw with the Montreal Impact on Sunday.
The Fire (5-8-18) forced Evan Bush to make eight saves for the Impact. Sean Johnson had two for Chicago.
Bush made a diving save of Quincy Amarikwa's header in the ninth minute and Johnson went well beyond the penalty box in the 91st minute to break up a dangerous pass in from midfield.
Jack McInerney had the best scoring chance for the Impact (6-18-7) in the 43rd minute on a bicycle-kick goal nullified by an offside call.
CHESTER, Pa. -- Robert Earnshaw chipped home a shot in the 92nd minute to give the Chicago Fire their MLS-record 17th tie of the season, a 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union on Thursday night.
Earnshaw stole a clearance attempt by goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi, took one dribble, and lofted the ball over the outstretched arm of Mbolhi. Chicago (5-8-17) broke the record of 16 ties set in 2011 by the Fire and the New York Red Bulls.
Philadelphia (9-10-12) took a 1-0 lead in the 88th minute when Amobi Okugo sent home a deflected cross.
Philadelphia was in control for most of the game. The Union's Andrew Wenger dribbled from midfield to the 18-yard box in the 56th minute and centered a pass, but an open Cristian Maidana pushed the ball just wide of the post. Brian Brown had an open shot just outside the 6-yard box in the 72nd minute, but his left-footed shot went wide.
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Matt Watson scored in the 78th minute to give the Chicago Fire a 3-3 draw with D.C. United on Saturday night.
Chicago (5-7-16) tied the MLS record, set in 2011, with its 16th draw of the season.
Quincy Amarikwa gave Chicago the lead in the 16th minute. He settled a cross with his chest, took two touches to elude the defense and bent in a shot. Amarikwa was clipped inside the box in the 30th minute and Jeff Larentowicz converted the penalty kick for a 2-0 lead.
Luis Silva's penalty kick put D.C. (14-9-6) on the board in the 39th minute to snap United's two-game scoreless streak. Silva evened the match at 2 in the 54th minute when he sent a free kick from distance. D.C. took its first lead at 3-2 in the 68th minute.
Watson's game-tying shot from distance ricocheted off a defender and landed in the back of the net.
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Dwayne De Rosario scored in the 89th minute to lift Toronto FC to a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire on Saturday night.
De Rosario tipped in the tying score from a yard out after Gilberto knocked a header down in front of the goal. De Rosario's 104th career goal helped Toronto FC (9-11-7) avoid a third consecutive scoreless shutout.
Lovel Palmer opened the scoring for Chicago (5-7-15) with a header off Sanna Nyassi's short corner in the 11th minute. It was his first goal as a member of the Fire.
Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik made a variety of saves, the most crucial coming on Jeff Larentowicz's penalty kick in the 57th minute. After blocking Larentowicz's attempt, Bendick made another save on Quincy Amarikwa's immediate putback and a third before the ball was safely cleared.