MLS Moves: Fire will add de Leeuw in July

The Chicago Fire announced Tuesday that the club has signed 29-year-old Dutch forward Michael de Leeuwfrom Dutch Eredivisie club FC Groningen, using Targeted Allocation Money.

De Leeuw, who led Groningen in scoring the last two seasons, signed a three-year deal with a club option for 2019 and will be added to the Fire roster when the transfer window reopens in July. The Fire acquired the right to sign de Leeuw from the Philadelphia Union, which held his Discovery rights, in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money.

“Michael hungers to score goals and to win,” said Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez. “That mentality as well as his versatility to play several of the attacking roles will be valuable additions to our club.”

OKUGO -> PORTLAND.  The injury-riddled Portland Timbers signed free agent defender/midfielder Amobi Okugo, making them his fourth club in the last two years. He made 117 appearances with Philadelphia in 2010-2014, logging at least 30 starts in 2013 and 2014. But after leading the Union in games played (32) and games started (31) in 2014, Okugo moved to expansion Orlando City SC in 2015, appearing in 15 games before being acquired by Sporting Kansas City in July 2015. Sporting KC waived Okugo, who is only 25, in February.

MARTINEZ -> COLUMBUS. Columbus  acquired 19-year-old midfielder Cristian Martinez on loan for the duration of the 2016 MLS season from Panama's Chorrillo FC. The Crew needed to secure an international roster spot, which it obtained in the deal with New England for Kei Kamara, to be able to sign Martinez, who has already earned two caps for Panama, both in 2016 during friendly matches.

“Cristian is a young, talented player with a bright future, and we're pleased that we were able to complete this deal after having him in training with us over the course of the last few weeks,” said Crew sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter. “We're excited to work with him and do our best to help him realize his potential as a professional.”

JARA -> FC DALLAS. FC Dallas signed 23-year-old Argentine defender Agustin Jara, who spent most of the preseason on trial with FCD. Jara was able to be signed after the close of last week's primary transfer window because no International Transfer Certificate was required, due to his status as a free agent.

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