Chicago Fire FC announced today that the Club has signed Academy product Mauricio Pineda to a Homegrown Player contract. He is under contract with the Fire for the 2020 season with Club options for the 2021, 2022 and 2023 seasons.
“We’re very happy that Mauricio has decided to return to Chicago to begin his professional career,” said Chicago Fire FC Head Coach Raphael Wicky. “He has all of the abilities necessary to become an impactful player. I’m looking forward to working with Mauricio to help him reach his potential.”
Pineda, 22, joins the Fire after spending the past four years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Pineda, who was a team captain for the Tar Heels, appeared in every match during his four years with UNC. In 79 appearances (74 starts), he notched 17 goals and eight assists. In his senior season in 2019, Pineda led the team in shots (52), shots on goal (23) and game-winning goals (three), while also ranking second on the team in goals scored (five).
Additionally, Pineda was named to an All-ACC team each season during his four years with UNC, including first-team honors in 2018 and 2019. He was also named to the United Soccer Coaches All-American second team in 2018.
“I’m so happy to sign my first professional contract with the Fire,” said Pineda. “I joined the Club when I was 10 years old and have been dreaming of playing for the Fire since then. I can’t wait to get started.”
rior to spending four years at UNC, Pineda featured for the Chicago Fire Academy, helping the Club win its first-ever U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) National Championship in 2015. As a result of his strong performances with the Fire Academy, Pineda earned call ups to the U-18 and U-19 U.S. Men’s National Teams.
Pineda is the second member of his family to join the Club as a Homegrown Player. His brother, Victor Pineda, signed with Chicago as the first Homegrown Player in Club history in 2010. The Fire currently has six Homegrown Players on its 2020 roster: Jeremiah Gutjahr, Djordje Mihailović, Mauricio Pineda, Andre Reynolds II, Gabriel Slonina and Nicholas Slonina.
Chicago will kick off its 2020 MLS season on the road on Sunday, March 1 against defending MLS Cup Champions Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field at 2:00 p.m. CT (ESPN). The Fire will officially make its return to Soldier Field on Saturday, March 21 when the team hosts Atlanta United FC in its 2020 home opener at 2:30 p.m. CT (Univision).
Fans can secure a seat for the Fire’s 2020 MLS home opener, or any home game of the regular season, through a variety of ticket packages. Beginning as low as $15 per game, season ticket packages for the 2020 campaign are available for purchase online or by calling 888-MLS-FIRE to speak with a season ticket sales representative. Additionally, season tickets for children ages 12-and-under are also currently available for as low as $12.50 per game.
Transaction: Chicago Fire FC signs Mauricio Pineda as a Homegrown Player on Jan. 17, 2020.
Name: Mauricio Pineda
Weight: 171 lbs.
Date of Birth: Oct. 17, 1997
Birthplace: Bolingbrook, Ill.
Citizenship: United States of America