Grant Lillard joined the Chicago Fire as a homegrown signing with some hype attached to him. After two years with limited playing time, Lillard is on the move.
The Fire traded the 23-year-old defender to expansion team Inter Miami on Thursday for $75,000 in general allocation money.
Lillard had options on his contract for 2020 and 2021, but the Fire had not picked up the 2020 option yet. He becomes Miami’s eighth player under contract.
“Grant is a promising young defender,” Miami’s sporting director Paul McDonough said in a statement. “We are in the midst of building our team and adding key pieces to complement our supplemental roster.”
The mention of the supplemental roster from McDonough could be a tease as to how he sees Lillard fitting in on the team.
Lillard made 14 MLS appearances in two seasons with the Fire. He made just two starts and four appearances in total last season. The 6-foot-4 defender didn’t show much growth year-to-year and the Fire have three center backs under contract ahead of him in Francisco Calvo, Johan Kappelhof and Marcelo.
Lillard gets a chance to rejuvenate his career with a new team. The Fire get some cap flexibility for a player who didn’t appear in the long-term plans.