Chicago Fire: Kheli Dube
The Chicago Fire signed 28-year-old Zimbabwean striker Kheli Dube on Wednesday.
Dube, the eighth overall selection by the New England Revolution in the 2008 MLS Supplemental Draft, was the Fire's only pick in the MLS Re-Entry Process
“Kheli has been an offensive threat since he came into the league,” said Fire coach Frank Klopas. “He’s a gritty, hard-working forward that plays for the badge. Since joining us in preseason Kheli has shown his desire to be part of our club.”
Dube had four goals and four assists and helped the Revs to the 2008 SuperLiga title. He was named a finalist for MLS Rookie of the Year.
Dube split his collegiate career between Lindsey Wilson College (2004-05) and Coastal Carolina University (2006-07), where he was named 2007 Big South Player of the Year.
The 28-year-old Dube tallied 14 goals and eight assists in 72 games with the New England Revolution, and the Fire now begin negotiations with Dube on a contract.
Dube only saw the pitch five times and logged 114 minutes in 2011. The Bulawayo, Zimbabwe native was a regular starter for the Revs in 2009, starting in 20 of 26 games played and tallying a personal-best eight goals that season.
Only a handful of teams elected to participate in the re-entry draft, but quite a few players with Fire ties were involved in the process.
Former Fire midfielder and University of Illinois-Chicago alum Baggio Husidic was picked by the Colorado Rapids after Chicago made its selection for Dube and the next four teams decided to pass on their selection. Husidic had two assists and zero goals this past season, following up a 2010 campaign that included five goals and three assists.
Former Fire forward Nate Jaqua was the second pick of this second leg as the Revolution becomes the fifth MLS franchise that Jaqua has been a part of. The Fire's 2003 draft pick most recently played for Seattle Sounders FC.
The Fire's backup goalkeeper for 2011, Jon Conway, was chosen by the Los Angeles Galaxy. And former Fire defender Dasan Robinson, who was an available option for the re-entry draft, was brought back to L.A. after the team declined his option following the 2011 season.
Johnson joins U.S. U-23 squad: Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson begins training with the U.S. U-23 National Team this Thursday through Dec. 23. Johnson had been training with U.S. MNT goalkeeper Tim Howard and Everton FC. U-23 head coach Caleb Porter's 28-player group will train at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Nazarit, Ferrari released: Last Wednesday the Fire released forwards Cristian Nazarit and Gabriel Ferrari. Ferrari only played for 17 minutes in three games this past season. Nazarit had two goals in 12 games and 624 minutes in 2011. Nazarit's biggest highlight was the Fire's stoppage-time goal during a 1-0 road victory over the Columbus Crew on June 12, ending the team's dismal 0-4-7 stretch en route to interim head coach Frank Klopas' first win.