Chicago native and former Indiana University star Victor Bezerra is headed home, as the Chicago Fire signed the forward to a homegrown contract through the 2024 season with a club option for 2025.
Bezerra was one of the top players in college soccer during his three years in Bloomington, and was the runner-up for the MAC Hermann Award during his sophomore season in 2020-21, given annually to the top player in college soccer. Bezerra notched 28 goals and 12 assists in 53 appearances for the Hoosiers in three seasons.
He was named to the Top Drawer Soccer Best XI First Team in 2020-21 and his 12 goals were the most for an IU player in a single season since 2012. The Hoosiers reached the College Cup Final in 2020-21 before losing 1-0 to Marshall in extra time.
Bezerra played with the Chicago Fire Academy growing up and is the 23rd player to sign a homegrown contract with the club.
“We are very happy that Victor has decided to return to Chicago to begin his professional career with his hometown club,” Fire technical director Sebastian Pelzer said in a statement. “Victor has not only proven himself as a goal-scorer and chance-creator at every level in which he has played, but he has also been disciplined in his pursuit of becoming a professional soccer player. After laying a solid foundation in our Academy, the coaches at Indiana University have been instrumental in helping him continue to develop as a person and as a player, and we look forward to working with him to help him reach his potential.”
After a record-setting collegiate career at IU, the 21-year-old Bezerra is headed back to Chicago to represent the club he grew up with ahead of the 2022 MLS season.
“I want to thank all my friends, family, and coaches, but especially the Chicago Fire,” said Bezerra. “Every day that I wear this crest, I’ll be working my hardest to make sure that all of the trust that the coaches put in me is rewarded. Growing up here and representing this Club means the world to me and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”