Fire select Maicon Santos in MLS re-entry draft

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Fire select Maicon Santos in MLS re-entry draft

Since Major League Soccer initiated a re-entry draft several years back, only five players have been selected in the first of the two stages. Thats when teams must pay selected players according to their current contracts.

The Fire was the only club to select a player in that stage of this years re-entry draft that was held on Friday. The other 18 teams passed, preferring to wait for next Fridays second phase when more players are traditionally chosen.

Brazilian forward Maicon Santos was the lone player chosen on Friday. In his fourth MLS season, he had seven goals and three assists for D.C. United last season and has 21 goals and eight assists in his MLS career.

Javier Leon, the Fires president of soccer operations, called the 28-year old Santos "a talented forward who brings with him a scoring touch."

Just where Santos will fit in is uncertain. The Fire has returnees Sherjill MacDonald, Dominic Oduro, Patrick Nyarko and Chris Rolfe returning as forwards who drew considerable playing time and up-and-coming Kellen Gulley is waiting in the wings as a promising young player.

The Fire made its best use of the re-entry draft in 2010, when defender Cory Gibbs was acquired in the second phase. He was an immediate starter, but a knee injury suffered early last season led to his retirement two weeks ago. Forward Kheli Dube was the latest player chosen via the re-entry draft in 2011. He was released midway through the season.

While no other clubs make a re-entry draft selection on Friday, one did make two major moves. The Philadelphia Union brought back forward Sebastian Le Toux in a trade with the New York Red Bulls and also traded for Philadelphia native Jeff Parke, a defender who had been with the Seattle Sounders.

Le Toux was a popular player for the Union for two seasons under head coach Peter Nowak, the first Fire captain. Le Toux was sent to Vancouver in a controversial trade last season prior to Nowak being dismissed from his job. The Union went on to a disappointing season and is making a major rebuilding effort.

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Doug McDermott scores career-best 31 to lead Bulls past Grizzlies

Doug McDermott scores career-best 31 to lead Bulls past Grizzlies

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Doug McDermott scored a career-high 31 points, Jimmy Butler had a pair of key baskets in the closing minute and the Chicago Bulls beat the Memphis Grizzlies 108-104 on Sunday night.

The Bulls broke a 104-all tie with 25 seconds left on a 15-footer from Butler and a pair of free throws by McDermott. Butler also had a go-ahead 18-footer with 53 seconds left and finished with 16 points to help Chicago win its second straight.

Taj Gibson finished with 18 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls.

Mike Conley led Memphis with 28 points and eight assists, and Marc Gasol had 24 points and 11 rebounds.

Chicago was without second-leading scorer Dwyane Wade, who did not play on the second night of a back-to-back after the Bulls beat New Orleans at home Saturday.

The game featured 16 lead changes and 11 ties, with neither team holding a double-digit lead.

Most of McDermott's damage came in the first half after the Bulls struggled shooting in the latter part of the first quarter. McDermott came off the bench to reverse the trend.

McDermott scored 20 points in the first eight minutes of the second quarter, moving Chicago's lead to eight. He had 22 points for the half and the Bulls led 52-46 at the break.

TIP-INS

Bulls: Nikola Mirotic missed his fourth straight game dealing with an illness. ... F Paul Zipser, a rookie from Germany, started his second game and second straight after coming off the bench in his first 10 appearances this season. ... McDermott converted a four-point play in the second quarter. ... McDermott's 22 first-half points were more than his total for the four previous games (21). ... Chicago scored 14 points in the first quarter, a season low for the opening frame. ... The Bulls are now 4-5 on the second night of back-to-backs.

Grizzlies: Gasol made a pair of 3-pointers in the first half, marking 17 games this season he has made multiple shots from outside the arc. ... Memphis made 11 3-pointers in the game and has converted at least 10 3s in 20 games this season, including 11 of the last 14 games.

MLK HOLIDAY

This is the 15th season Memphis has hosted a game on Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. The Grizzlies are 6-9 in the holiday game.

In recognition of the holiday, Memphis wore special MLK50 Pride uniforms. The black jerseys have sea foam blue numbers, letters and piping with the full T-shirt look instead of the normal sleeveless. The piping replicated the railing in front the rooms at the Lorraine Motel, where King was assassinated in 1968, and the blue color was similar to the doors on the rooms.

MISSING WADE

Wade's absence meant missing a reunion with Memphis coach David Fizdale. Both left the Miami Heat organization after last season - Wade signing with the Bulls and Fizdale getting his first head coaching job in Memphis. Fizdale said he is sort of a "basketball romantic" and would like to have seen Wade retire in Miami. But he predicted after the player's career "his statue will be out front and (Wade) will be remembered as the great player that he should be."

UP NEXT

Bulls: Return home to face the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.

Grizzlies: Memphis travels to Washington to face the Wizards on Wednesday night.