Chicago Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez has consistently talked about adding depth at multiple positions. Enter Raheem Edwards, who joined the Fire in a trade from Montreal for allocation money.
Montreal received $400,000 of targeted allocation money in return for Edwards. Edwards, who turned 23 on the day of the trade, leaves Canada for the first time in his career. He came up through Toronto’s system and moved to Montreal in the offseason.
The winger made 14 appearances, nine of which were starts, for the Impact. He scored two goals in 808 minutes. Last year with MLS Cup-winning Toronto, Edwards had a goal and six assists in 21 games, 10 starts.
The Fire have needed wingers all season. The Fire have struggled to fill the wing opposite Aleksandar Katai. Luis Solignac, a starter on the right for much of last season, is currently injured and has missed 14 games.
Daniel Johnson, a first-round pick last year, has struggled with a series of relatively minor injuries and has failed to assert himself. Rookies Diego Campos and Elliot Collier, who is new to the position, have been forced to fill in.
Edwards has a chance to start right away, at least while Solignac is out. Solignac, who has been out for the past four matches with a quad injury, has rejoined the team in training.
Another wrinkle to the trade is that Edwards counts as an international for the Fire. He will be the 11th on the roster. Teams have an initial allotment of eight.
The Fire had nine internationals on the roster, but Michael de Leeuw has been on the disabled list so he hasn’t counted against that total. De Leeuw is expected to return from ACL surgery in August and would then take up one of those spots again.
Recent signing Nicolás Del Grecco is set to join the team once he gets his visa. He would put the team over the limit. Edwards adds another one to the list.
Collier and fellow rookie Jon Bakero could go out on loan to the USL to free up spots with Edwards likely slotting in above both on the depth chart. There could be other tinkering to come with the roster.
As a side note, this is the same amount of allocation money the Fire sent to the New York Red Bulls in the Dax McCarty trade. In that Jan. 2017 trade, the Fire sent $400,000 of general allocation money.
General allocation money has fewer restrictions on it than TAM, but it is interesting to compare the trades. McCarty had been a league all-star capped by the U.S. men’s national team. Edwards comes in as a depth piece.