The free agent Nick Labrocca signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Fire. The club announced the acquisition of a midfield veteran on Wednesday. LaBrocca has a nine years of experience in the league and it makes him the second oldest player on the Fire team after Razvan Cocis. The deal offers a club option for the second year for LaBrocca. He is the 20th player under a contract with the Fire. The number does not include the players selected during the first and second round of the 2016 MLS Superdraft because their contracts still remain unsigned. Michael Harrington is another MLS free agent that signed a contract with the Fire this offseason.
The Chicago Fire’s general manager Nelson Rodriguez said; “Nick’s experience, versatility and comfort on the ball make us a better team. He also has a terrific work rate and will be an important role model within the locker room”. LaBroccas talent and experience can greatly benefit the Chicago Fire’s team and his achievements during his professional career are a proof of that.
LaBrocca began his collegiate career at Rutgers University. He started every game while playing for the Scarlet Knights, scored ten goals and added eight assists. Scarlet Knights are the Rutgers University’s college team, which LaBrocca played for four seasons. In 2007 MLS SuperDraft was recognized as 35th overall pick. The Colorado Rapids acquired the young player during the 2007 selection in the SuperDraft. That was the beginning of LaBrocca’s professional soccer career. He was a regular starter for the reserve team that won the 2007 MLS Reserve Division Championship. During his time with the Rapids (2007-2009), LaBrocca scored four goals in 61 matches.
The Colorado Rapids is the last club represented by LaBrocca before his move to the Chicago Fire. It was his second contract with the club from 2013 to 2015. During this time, LaBrocca scored three goals and added four assists in the 68 regular season matches. He will not show up in any betting systems for his goal scoring ability but is still a big threat going forward.
In 2010, La Brocca was traded to Toronto FC, where he scored one goal and added six assists. He did not stay with Toronto FC for a long time. He joined Chivas USA in 2011, where he played all 34 matches of the season. During his career at Chivas he scored eight goals and added six assists that brought him his first MLS All-Star nod. He scored two more goals for Chivas in the following year, before joining the Rapids.
LaBrocca is a central midfielder. The Fire’s plans how to line up tactically are still unknown, but it seems that he will most likely compete for playing time with Cocis and Michael Stephens. He started six matches and made 13 appearances while playing for the Rapids in 2015. The Rapids had the second-worst score in the league during that MLS regular season. Many punters using betting strategies managed to profit by betting against them keeping a clean sheet over the season.