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Thursday, March 17, 2011
Chicago Fire sign two So Cal products

By Scott French

If the Chicago Fire confounds critics with an attack not all that anemic, credit might go two young Souther California-bred forwards.

The Fire on Thursday signed third-round draft choice Davis Paul (Upland/Damien HS), who played collegiately at Cal. Last week the club brought in Israeli-born Orr Barrouch (Woodland Hills/El Camino Real HS) on loan from Mexico's UANL Tigres.

Paul, 22, impressed with his versatility and work ethic.

"We've been very pleased with Davis' skills, effort and attitude on and off the field," technical director Frank Klopas told media. "[He] is a creative player and strong competitor with the ability to play up top and on the wing."

Orr, 19, who spent a month on trial with the Fire, played in Chivas USA's youth academy but signed with Tigres in 2009. He has played for the Monterrey-based club's youth team but never its first team.

"It’s been a dream ever since I was young to be a professional soccer player," Barouch, who scored four goals in a preseason win over the New York Red Bulls' reserves, told Major League Soccer's website. "I’m super excited and super happy to be with the Fire."

Barrouch described his game: "What I really like to do is drop off. I can hold up the ball, too, but I like to drop off a bit more. I like to give through balls and stuff like that. I can also play from the left wing, which is the position I’ve played the most. But if I had to pick one spot, it would probably be dropping off and playing that No. 10 [playmaking] role."

The Fire's other L.A.-bred player is midfielder Daniel Paladini (Northridge/St. Francis HS and Cal State Northridge), 26, who played in eight games for Chivas USA in 2008 and was on the Galaxy's roster in 2006.

ELSEWHERE: Vancouver on Thursday signed former UC Santa Barbara defender Michael Boxall. The New Zealander was the first pick in the MLS's supplemental draft Jan. 18.