Fire re-tools again with young Colombian forward

[MLS] The U.S. transfer window closed last month, but teams may still sign players out of contract, and by this method Chicago has acquired Cristian Nazarit. He joins the growing contingent of young Colombian players in MLS.

Nazarit, 20, played for the Colombian U-17 team at the 2007 world championships, and was a member of the U-20 team -- as was Fire defender Yamith Cuesta -- that failed to qualify for the 2009 U-20 World Cup.

Nazarit became available after being released by Independiente Santa Fe in his native country. According to a Fire press release, he scored 16 goals in 42 appearances for Santa Fe from 2008 to 2010.

“He’s a pure No. 9 striker who plays very high up,” said Fire technical director Frank Klopas in a release. “A very strong player who has good pace and can play with his back to goal but also has good depth. When you provide service to him he’s very good in the air and has a very strong ability to shoot from distance.”

In addition to offseason signings Gaston Puerari and Diego Chaves, Chicago acquired forward Dominic Oduro in a trade with Houston. Nazarit joins Oduro as the main challengers to play the point in a 4-1-4-1 formation recently adopted by head coach Carlos de Los Cobos, or he can play with a supporting player underneath him in a two-forward alignment.

“He gives us a different dimension because his strength and ability to play with his back to goal and also to get behind the back line," says Klopas. "I think it’s going to give us a different way to attack and also a person with which we can be more direct in our attack.”

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Nazarit's paperwork has been completed, making him eligible to play for the Fire Saturday against Vancouver.

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