Fire acquire Arévalo Ríos for designated player role
BY PATRICK Z. McGAVIN For Sun-Times Media August 14, 2013 10:08PM
Updated: August 14, 2013 10:26PM
Egidio Arevalo Rios had a range of possibilities before him. The Fire struck first and won out for his services.
After a week of negotiating, the Fire formally announced the acquisition of the 31-year-old Uruguayan from the Italian club Palermo for a designated-player role. Known as the “Beckham Rule,” the designated-player slot allows teams to circumvent the salary cap in order to secure internationally prominent players.
The Fire and Dutch forward Sherjill MacDonald, who had four goals and five assists in 27 games, also mutually agreed to terminate his contract.
“I had different options, but I believe in this team and organization,” Arevalo Rios said. “After I committed to them, they offered me a deal, and I said, ‘I’m going forward with this [deal].’ ”
A defensive-oriented midfielder, Arevalo Rios played a prominent role in his national team’s 2010 World Cup run to the semifinals. He’ll be another weapon for the resurgent Fire, which is riding a 7-2-2 run. The team has 31 points for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. The Fire (9-9-4) trails the Houston Dynamo for the final playoff spot.
“[Arevalo Rios] is a world-class player who brings a lot to our team,” coach Frank Klopas said after the Fire’s 2-1 victory against the Montreal Impact last week.
Arevalo Rios said he expects to play Saturday, when the Fire travels to New England.
“I got picked up for a reason: for my experience,” he said. “I’ve been watching [the Fire] and seeing how they play, with a lot of control and aggressiveness.”
He said he has been training in Mexico City to prepare himself for the final third of the MLS regular season.
“I will adapt very quickly to the group and team,” he said.