Chicago Fire officially unveil Jairo Torres.

May 1st marked the day that Jairo Torres was officially added to the Chicago Fire roster. The club paid $6 million for the 21-year-old winger back in February, filling the club’s third and final Designated Player spot. Torres arrives with 18 career goals and assists (9 goals, 9 assists) to his name, all scored for boyhood club Atlas in Liga MX where played a key role in an Apertura title in 2021. He also made his National Team debut for Mexico back in 2019, his only appearance to date. He won the 2017 U-17 CONCACAF Championship with the Mexican Youth National team, a tournament in which he was also named the tournament’s best player. He comes to the team hoping to be one of the standout players and maybe earn a call-up to the World Cup later this year. If you break down Torres’s stats, you can see that he can play all across the forward line. His career goals are spread out quite evenly across all forward positions: 3 goals at right-wing, 3 goals and 1 assist in the attacking midfield position, 1 goal and 2 assists at left-wing, 1 goal and 1 assist as a center forward, and an assist from midfield. Ezra Hendrickson would have certainly been keen on that sort of versatility when looking for attacking options. The one downside that can get brought up with this move is that players don’t always transition from Liga MX to MLS smoothly. The leagues differ in many crucial ways, so adapting to the other league proves difficult for many players. Jairo Torres does have the potential to be a real world-class player and move to Europe where he could have a really successful career though so it could be different for him.

Jairo Torres comes to the team during a time of slight panic. The Chicago Fire made an encouraging start to the season, showing that they weren’t a team that would be easily beat. And while they haven’t been going down easy, the Fire hasn’t won since matchday four and has lost 3 of the last 5 MLS games. They haven’t scored since that win against Sporting KC apart from Shaqiri’s penalty in this past weekend’s game against New York Red Bulls. The hope is that Torres unlocks this attack and creates some sort of productivity going forward. But the general sentiment amongst fans seems to be that it’s not that simple. The MLS transfer deadline is tomorrow, May 4th, and the club still needs to complete the signings of two more attack-minded players in order to compete for a playoff spot. A report, per Paul Tenrio and confirmed by other sources, says that the signing of Chicago native Chris Meuller, former Orlando City forward, is close to being completed but not done yet. The club has also expressed strong interest in Yerson Chacon in the past, a signing that just requires triggering a release clause. There are also unconfirmed reports of a potential move for Renato Steffen, a Swiss winger currently playing for Wolfsburg in Germany. I’d prefer they just trigger the release clause for Chacon. He’s certainly interested in a move here, and contract terms have already been discussed. Steffen hasn’t been a consistent starter for Wolfsburg, and Chacon has a much higher ceiling.

The next two days are key for the Fire. If they get the signings of Meuller (which could happen by the time this gets published) and one of those two wingers to add to Jairo Torres, this attack looks much better. Torres is coming here to be one of the best players in the league and to propel his career forward, using MLS as a stepping stone. He’s an ambitious forward who will be looking to get Mexico National Team call-ups. He’s still young, so if he grabs this opportunity with both hands and is the player we’re hoping he’ll be for us, none of those ambitions are out of reach. I don’t see him being another Ignacio Aliseda, but there are a few question marks around him yet to be answered.

Featured Image: Chicago Fire/Twitter
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