MLS: Blockbuster Deal Sends Campos to Chicago

In a blockbuster trade, Mexican national team goalkeeper Jorge Campos was dealt to the Chicago Fire on Jan. 27. The Fire receives Campos and midfielder Chris Armas from the Los Angeles Galaxy. In return, the Galaxy welcomes back a pair of players it lost in the MLS expansion draft, Danny Pena and Kevin Hartman, as well as an allocated player to be named later. "We're excited to get a player of Jorge's caliber," said Fire head coach Bob Bradley. "I know how important a player like Campos is to our fans, and his international experience will be a tremendous asset to a first-year team." "I've known Chris [Armas] since he was 16, when I coached him in the Region I Olympic Development Program," Bradley added. "He is one of the most underrated players in the league.... [He's] a player I had hoped to acquire for some three months now, as soon as I was named head coach." Campos, who is currently playing for UNAM in the Mexican First Division, led MLS with a 1.20 GAA in 1996, when he and the Galaxy reached the MLS Championship match. He was in goal for 71 percent of Los Angeles' wins in the first two MLS seasons. "Campos is obviously a tremendous addition for the Fire and the Hispanic community of the Chicagoland area," said Chicago GM Peter Wilt. "While we gave up our first two picks in the draft and an allocated player in the future, we were able to acquire a player of huge international stature, a player that we never could have gotten in the expansion draft process." "I'm very excited about going to Chicago, a city with such rich history, and the home to so many sports teams with legendary players worldwide," Campos said. "I'm fortunate to join the Fire during its first season, and proudly face the challenges ahead of me with this team." In addition to Pena and Hartman, the Galaxy will add another allocated player. "We are in discussions with several top-notch players from around the world and we are hoping to have someone signed by mid-February," said Galaxy GM Danny Villanueva. "It's our goal to play in the league championship and we intend to acquire a player that can have that kind of impact. It was not in our best interest to carry a player in goal who counted the maximum amount against the salary cap."
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