The MLS season may have already commenced, but the Chicago Fire’s roster is finally beginning to look more complete. The Fire have agreed to the signing of highly-rated Mexican left-back Alonso Aceves, the club announced today. Aceves will initially join on a one-year loan through the end of the season with an option to buy.
Aceves, who turns 22 in two weeks, will fill an U-22 initiative roster slot. He came up through the process at Mexican club Pachuca and broke through with the first team at the beginning of the Clausura in 2022. A Mexican U-21 international rated highly by many in his homeland, he was sent on loan to Real Oviedo in the Spanish second tier at the start of this European season. He appeared 11 times for the storied club but was a non-factor after a red card on November 6th. Aceves’ loan to Oviedo was terminated by the club at the beginning of the new year, and he has not played a game since.
Left-back is certainly a position in which the Fire have been shopping over the last few weeks. Miguel Navarro is currently the starter, but there is really no competition and the current de-facto starting left back is fresh homegrown Justin Reynolds. Thus, it was a priority to bring in another reliable player to provide an option alongside Navarro at that position. In Aceves, the Fire have a player who is pretty good and has promise to provide competition for the young Venezuelan international.
With that being said, though, this signing is a risk. The fact that it is an initial loan, likely with a minimal loan fee, does alleviate some pressure on Aceves to succeed, but the U-22 label does carry lots of weight. While Pachuca is the best team in Mexico at the moment, Aceves is not a member of the first team at the moment, and he hasn’t been involved in any matchday squads since Oviedo terminated his loan over four months ago. The use of one of the invaluable off-budget roster spots on a player who, while talented, was a flop in the Spanish second division and has struggled to break into a Liga MX team is a bold choice.
It’s unlikely that Aceves will push Navarro for his starting spot, at least not right away. What’s much more likely is that the Fire will continue shopping in the Mexican market. While its only current Mexican player – Jairo Torres – has been underwhelming and unfortunately riddled with injuries, it remains a league of interest for the Fire. The club have been linked with deadly Pumas striker Juan Dinenno, who would be a DP number 9 and would immediately be one of the best forwards in MLS. MenInRed97 can confirm this interest, though he is not the only target for that position, and it is far from a done deal. While Dinenno is Argentine, he can be added to the long list of transfer targets the Fire have had from Liga MX and Mexico over the last few years.
While the last few months have been a nightmare for Aceves, he is still a talented player with lots of upside. As the transfer is a loan with an option, not obligation, to buy, it would not be the end of the world if the move does not work out, especially since Miguel Navarro has gradually improved over the years he’s been in Chicago. Only time will tell if Aceves will be a success, but either way, his arrival raises the floor at left-back and provides much-needed depth at the position.