The Fire announced on Thursday that they have signed midfielder Collin Fernandez as a Homegrown player.
The 17-year-old Hernandez will become the fifth Homegrown player in team history.
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“It’s always been my dream to be a professional soccer player and this is just the beginning,” Fernandez said. “I’ve played with the Fire since I was 13, so it’s a dream come true for me to sign with my hometown club.”
The Downers Grove native has spent the past four years in the Fire's Player Development system. Since joining the club at the age of 13, Fernandez has appeared on the Fire's U-14, U-16 and U-18 Academy teams. He was also named the USSFDA Center Conference U-16 Player of the Year after scoring 16 goals with the club during the 2013-14 season.
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“Collin is a talented player who has a bright future ahead of him,” Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop said. “It speaks highly of our player development system as Collin is our third Homegrown signing this year. He has already begun training with the first team and started to integrate himself into the locker room, which will help ease his transition when he’s added to our roster next season.”
Fernandez is the Fire's third homegrown player signed in 2014, joining Harry Shipp -- An MLS Rookie of the Year candidate with six goals on the season -- and Chris Ritter.
Fernandez won't be added to Chicago's first team roster until 2015.