Kellyn Acosta is set to sign as a new Chicago Fire player, sources tell MIR97 Media. The 28-year-old central midfielder was out of contract with Los Angeles FC after helping them reach back-to-back MLS Cups in 2022 and 2023.
Acosta, who has represented the United States 58 times at the senior level and featured at the most recent FIFA World Cup, was among the most sought-after players on the MLS market this winter. His continued record of success both domestically and at the international level attracted suitors from around the league, but it will be Georg Heitz and Frank Klopas who bolster their side with Acosta’s addition. Acosta represents the ninth confirmed deal of the offseason, following the trades for Tom Barlow, Andrew Gutman, Chase Gasper and the permanent transfers for Maren Haile-Selassie, Bryan Dowd, Allan Arigoni, Tobias Salquist, and DP Hugo Cuypers.
Acosta turned down numerous proposals around the league including a reported return to the Colorado Rapids to join the Fire. There are significant limitations on the contract free agents can sign in MLS, so in effect, any domestic suitors were forced to offer the same financial proposal, and Acosta chose the Fire. The DP signing of Cuypers played a role in Acosta’s final decision.
While it is a free signing, the arrival of Acosta is among the most ambitious of the Fire’s offseason so far. Once a highly courted FC Dallas prospect, Acosta won a Supporter’s Shield and U.S. Open Cup with his homegrown team, before guiding the Colorado Rapids to a surprising Western Conference regular season title in 2021. It was that same year that Acosta re-emerged as a USMNT contributor, helping the team with big performances in the CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup finals against Mexico and providing the assist on Miles Robinson’s game-winner in the latter. Acosta also scored in MLS Cup as LAFC won their first-ever title in 2022.
As one of the top midfielders in MLS, Acosta’s signing should prove a game-changer for a Fire club currently seeking to find its identity on the field. He represents an instant upgrade in a thin double-pivot depth chart that recently saw destroyer Ousmane Doumbia depart following the conclusion of his loan deal. Renowned for his set piece ability, Acosta will add great free-kick delivery to the Fire’s arsenal which could provide multiple big opportunities per game.
The Fire’s attention now focuses to ensuring that they remain roster compliant by the deadline, which is February 23rd, one day before the season opener in Philadelphia. The Fire must move at least three players from the senior roster to accommodate their new additions, likely Jairo Torres, Kacper Przybyłko, and Arnaud Souquet. (read more here)
The addition of Acosta is yet another piece of business that has made this a successful offseason for Heitz and the Fire. With club-record signing Cuypers up front, the Fire will be far more dangerous in an area of the pitch they’ve consistently lacked quality, and in Acosta, they’ll be more dominant in the midfield backed by MLS experience.