Jairo Torres has arrived in Chicago.
The new Designated Player has made his move to Major League Soccer just over two month since the signing was officially announced. He joins from Liga MX side Atlas FC after completing a record deal for $6m in February.
While the timing may seem odd given that Atlas FC just qualified to the quarter-finals of the Liga MX playoffs, the MLS contract was contingent on Torres remaining with his boyhood club until May 1.
While he won't be featuring in the postseason tournament, the forward helped lead Atlas to one Liga MX title in December and recorded 32 appearances this year between the Apertura and Clausura.
“A player like Jairo can make a coach’s life a lot easier, take away some sleepless nights," head coach Ezra Hendrickson told media Tuesday on a virtual press conference.
"He’s a player with very good technical ability, especially 1v1s. It’s something we need in this team. I think the fans are going to enjoy watching him play."
Torres will likely be jumping right into things as Chicago travels to Mercedes-Benz Stadium this weekend to face Atlanta United.
"Is anyone from Atlanta listening?" Hendrickson joked when asked about his availability, before adding, "He's here to play."
Torres first kicked off his career with Atlas’ youth academy, working himself up before making his debut with the senior team in 2019. He recorded 119 appearances for the Mexican side before making the jump.
“I’m just really, really happy to be here" Torres said through a translator. "I’m very excited to be part of the Chicago Fire. I’m thankful for the club waiting for me to get here"
Upon announcing the deal, Chicago technical director Sebastian Pelzer said the club was particularly captivated by the player’s technical quality and work rate, teasing his abilities to the fans.
“Seeing him live, he was even better than on the screen," Pelzer said.
He stands as the Fire’s second offseason addition to strengthen the attack, alongside Xherdan Shaqiri.
“One of the issues we’re having is getting into the final third and, once we’re there, the quality hasn’t been there," Hendrickson said.
"I think he’ll compliment Shaq really well. Shaq can play a knifing through ball and Jairo is someone who can be on the end of it. Then there’s 1v1, Jairo is really good at that."