Fire bring Segares back

Fire bring Segares back
December 6, 2012, 9:32 pm
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Gonzalo Segares stay on the Fires recently-departed list didnt last long. The veteran defender signed a multi-year contract with the club on Thursday.

Segares, who completed his eighth season with the Fire in 2012, was entering the option year of his previous contract. The club declined to pick up the option this week, making Segares available in the re-entry draft, the first phase of which is Friday. His signing resulted in him being removed from the draft-eligible list, so only reserve goalkeeper Jay Nolly and reserve midfielder Corben Bone will be re-entry candidates when Major League Soccers 19 clubs make their choices.

Fridays first phase of the draft, conducted via teleconference, traditionally doesnt last long. A club must pay a selected player his current salary. That wont be the case in the second phase on Dec. 14. Two years ago the Fire acquired veteran defender Cory Gibbs through that procedure.

While no other terms of his contract were announced, Segares is assured of staying with the team that drafted him in the third round in 2005. With the exception of a brief stint in Cyprus in 2010 Segares has remained with the Fire ever since and become a mainstay at left back.

With 178 MLS regular season matches and 207 competitive appearances across all competitions under his belt, Segares became the seventh player in franchise history to pass the 200 mark in games-played this season. He also has 19 caps for Costa Ricas national team.

In statements released by the team, president of soccer operations Javier Leon said he was "pleased that Gonzalo will remain a member of the clubHe has been a tremendous asset to the Fire back line for nearly a decade and has been key to our defensive stability.

Segares said he is "very happy to continue as a Fire playerChicago is my second home and the Fire have been a big part of my life for a long time. I look forward to more success with the club in the future.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Sean Johnson became the third Fire player to join an overseas club for training purposes this week. He returned to England and began workouts with Stoke on Wednesday. Hell be with that team through Sunday, then work with Everton from Monday through Dec. 23. Johnson also trained with Everton in the Fires last offseason.

Defenders Jalil Anibaba and Austin Berry finish their training periods with Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

The Fire has yet to make a trade since the 2012 season ended, but one of its Eastern Conference rivals did. Sporting Kansas City acquired veteran defender-midfielder Josh Gardner from Montreal for a second-round draft choice. Gardner had stints with the Los Angeles Galaxy and Columbus Crew before joining the expansion Impact last season.