New Zealander forward Elliot Collier has signed for Chicago Fire for the 2018 MLS season.
The 23-year-old Collier has signed alongside Costa Rican Diego Campos after impressing for the side during pre-season and will now take up a spot in the squad for the season.
It means he will have former World Cup and Champions League winner Bastian Schweinsteiger as a team mate.
Collier joins Chicago Fire after starring for Loyola University Chicago for three years and is the first player to graduate to the MLS from the programme.
He played 69 games for the University team and scored 15 goals. He also made 11 assists in his time at the team.
Now his coaches believe a New Zealand callup is not far away.
“The entire Loyola Men’s Soccer program is extremely excited about Elliot officially joining the Chicago Fire and Major League Soccer,” Loyola head men’s soccer coach Neil Jones said. “Elliot deserves so much credit, as do his parents, Richard and Sue, and brother, Matthew, for raising a fine young man. The Fire have made a great signing in Elliot, and hopefully someone with New Zealand Football finally recognises his unique, and top end quality.”
Collier was a graduate of the Ole Academy in New Zealand, which also boasted PEC Zwolle trialist Elijah Just, before joining Hamilton Wanderers in the Northern Premier League in New Zealand.
Collier is the latest Kiwi prospect to join an MLS club. Colorado Rapids, managed by former All Whites coach Anthony Hudson, has Tommy Smith, Kip Colvey and Deklan Wynne on its books.
Other Kiwis in the US include striker Myer Bevan, Cory Brown and Stefan Marinovic at Vancouver, Jake Gleeson, Bill Tuiloma and Stuart Holthusen in Portland Timbers, Michael Boxall at Minnesota United and James Musa at Sporting Kansas City.