MLS- Chicago Fire

Blanco signs with Veracruz, will have option to return to Chicago

Cuauhtemoc Blanco (ISIphotos.com)

Photo by ISIphotos.com

One of Major League Soccer's biggest free agents will be leaving MLS this winter, but he may not be gone for good.

Chicago Fire star Cuauhtemoc Blanco has signed a contract with Mexican second division club Veracruz for the 2010 season, but will have an opt-out clause in his contract that will allow him to return to the Fire after the 2010 World Cup, multiple reports out of Mexico have revealed.

Blanco is currently finishing out the final year of his Fire contract and had long been considered a safe bet to return to Mexico after this season. He made some bland mid-season remarks about wanting to return to the Fire, but sources in Chicago have told SBI for some time that Blanco intended to return to his native Mexico in 2010. He will rejoin Veracruz, which he played for in 2004, in January.

With Blanco enjoying a revived role with the Mexican national team, he is expected to play in Mexico heading into next summer's World Cup. After the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Blanco will have the ability to either stay in Mexico, or re-sign with the Fire. He will clearly have the leverage in that situation though, and these MLS playoffs could be the final games Blanco plays in MLS.

The Fire begins its MLS playoffs on Sunday vs. New England.

What do you think of this development? Did you see it coming? Think the Fire are ready to go through some serious rebuilding? Do you see Blanco coming back to Chicago next summer?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Graeme Sandlin

    I’m w/ EDB – spend the money on someone else next season… maybe it will even cost the Fire the Best Buy sponsorship and they can get rid of those lousy kits!!!!!


  • CACuzcatlan

    He’ll go back to the Fire or to Club America. I can’t imagine him staying in the fall 2010 season.


  • Chris in Belfast

    Well, hopefully they can keep *that* revenue stream, but I’d not be sad to see him leave. I mean, for sure there’s a vision that no-one on the team possesses, and the talent to make use of it, but the Fire are SO SLOW when he’s on the field, and with as many young, quick players as the team has, they could run other teams ragged. Plus, I’m really sick of seeing someone wearing my favorite team’s jersey constantly faking fouls


  • Jacob A.

    He just inked a new extension through like 2013 in Barcelona this summer. Don’t find that likely at all.


  • afrim

    maybe blanco told chicago “listen, if i stay im not going to play hard in the months leading up to the WC and risk injury”


  • not Ben Burton

    This sucks, Fire fans love Blanco for the most part, if we win MLS Cup it will be on Blanco’s back.


  • Ibby

    I’m a fire fan, and I do not love Blanco. I’ll be happy to see him leave. The only thing on Blanco’s back is a hunch.


  • Happy Camper

    By far, the best acquisition ever by the MLS. He brought the game to a high, professional level that nobody else has able to accomplish. Sorry, can anybody say Beckham?! Beckham?!

    Without a doubt, a MVP.

    Blanco happens to be Mexican. The economy is in such a horrible place, unemployment is high and racism is rampant.

    Not willing to recognize his talent is the result of blinding racism.

    Shame on you.



  • Kip


    Bringing out the race card in over not liking a soccer player?

    Really classy.

    Maybe some of us just don’t think Blanco is that good because he is slow and spends more time on the ground or complaining to a ref for a call than actually playing the game.

    Maybe, just maybe, it has nothing to do with race and everything to do with not caring for his style of play.


  • Freddy

    Exactly. If he’s heading into a World Cup (which likely he will be a part of their squad), why play in the Mexican 2nd Div?


  • pux90mex

    Have you guys watched the fire. HC is completely correct on this one. The fire look boring and lost without him on the field. He is slow and cranky band yes he has a hunch on his back but don’t confuse these attributes with his skill. His time with the fire have proven to my why Blanco is one of Mexico’s best players not just now, but ever.

    This is coming from a guy who was born in Guadalajara. Chivas are my life. Before he came to the fire I hated, physically hated him as a player and a person. His time in Chicago have shown me how wrong I was. Hopefully he comes back.


  • frank

    think this is all about being in Mexico pre-World Cup…wouldn’t be surprised to see him back with the Fire after the World Cup


  • Tim From Texas

    Let’s be honest here. If Blanco were to stay in MlS next season leading up to the World Cup, his chances of receiving an injury are much more likely then they would be in Mexico, where the level of physicality is much less. Not to say its certain this is why he’s leaving. I’m sure it has a lot to do with preparing himself mentally as well.



    Fire fans don’t care about Blanco leaving because…

    1. He never did anything to connect with loyal Fire fans. I could be wrong, but I’m not sure the words “Section 8” have ever come out of his mouth.

    2. The fans didn’t know much about him, in part because he was a jerk to the media. You guys are just gonna have to trust me on this one.

    (SBI-Is that really you bro? Keep living the dream.)

    3. Most importantly, Blanco has yet to bring their team to an MLS Cup final. And when you’re the second highest paid player in MLS, that’s a fair expectation. Keep in mind that the Fire was making the Eastern Conference finals before they added his $2.6 million contract.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I must return to my world of shaved chests and fake boobs.


  • Frank

    People here are stupid. Blanco is one of the best players ever to put on an MLS uniform. Americans just do not understand his type of possession play. Veracruz just recently got relegated and are making a big push to go up again. Think Newcastle.

    (SBI-Settle down Frank. I doubt many here think he’s not a good player. They just don’t like him. Didn’t like him before he came to MLS, don’t like him now. it has nothing to do with “understanding his type of possession play”. It has everything with him being the Mexican villain his whole career.)


  • sean

    I agree that Blanco has been the best signing ever by MLS. I hope they bring him back. I am surprised to see Fire fans hating on their best player.


  • Frank

    If you are a Fire fan I can’t wait until next season without Blanco. Have fun with Justin Mapp and without all the Blanco fans in the seats. People here are so anti-Mexico that they cannot see excellence past the hatred.


  • C-note

    All the criticizm is valid, but v Dallas, v Chivas he comes in as a sub and scores or sets up a score, maybe it was time and place, but the Fire don’t have as good a record with out him – as a sub. One of his best games all year was v Seattle, a strong team.
    No Rolfe, No Blanco, maybe no B MB, that is rebuilding.


  • A. Ruiz

    I wasn’t a big fan of Blanco before he played for the Fire and I am now…I like his tenacity and will to win. They’re worse divers in the league, like Padula…who’s a dirty player on top of it. So I don’t understand the flack Blanco gets.


  • fischy

    Get real. You can read the exact same trashing of Beckham in any discussion about him. If there is more dislike of Blanco than Beckham — and I would dispute that — it’s because Blanco is so much easier to dislike. He doesn’t respect the integrity of the game, and is the greatest offender of all when it comes to dives and time-wasting with fake injuries. People hate Blanco for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with his ethnicity.


  • C-note

    Arroyave- is Ives asking you if it’s really you? Shouldn’t he have your contact info? Maybe you two need to reconnect.

    (SBI-I do have his contact info. It was a joke.)


  • huricano

    I don’t know if continuing with Blanco as a D.P., who is on the wrong side of 35 is a good strategy. BTW, does anyone have perspective on why he floundered at Real Valladolid?


  • Lil' Zeke

    Play in Mexico to rally around your countrymen and forget your nodeebodo friends for a while


  • Lil' Zeke

    I’m the most ethnically obscure freakin albino maori eskimo you’ve ever met, and even I think Blanco cheats sometimes.


  • Sean Heffernan

    No matter what you think the Fire are going to need a creative player next year to fill the void left by Rolfe and Blanco. They’re gonna have to get somebody. They could be alright with a Pappa, Mapp, Pause, Thornington midfield, but I don’t know about MLS Cup good.


  • Supsam

    whoa whoa whoa! If we dont like him and give him credit we are automatically racist!?!? There are two things i hate in this world: Racists and people who ignorantly call other people racist. I come from a backround where my ethnicity has been greatly discrimiated against and racism has greatly subsided in AMerica in todays day and time. So calling people like me racist really ticks me off! i refuse to recognize a diving scum who complains about people roughing him up in the run of play BUT has no problem punching people and poking peoples eyes out. He is a disgrace to the beautiful game and i refuse to recognize him as a great soccer player.


  • paul lorinczi

    Blanco has been good for the Fire.

    He certainly served the purpose of putting butts into seats all over the US. In some cases, a healthier addition than even Beckham.

    He is an ego for sure. That goes without saying.

    I will agree his form has been off this past year. If he stays, the value moving forward are the extra butts in seats he brings.


  • Chris in Belfast


    Luis COVERED the Fire for the Tribune for two years. He knows of what he speaks.

    Think, sir.


  • Chris in Belfast

    Soumare already gone, rumors of Pappa leaving, Conde and Segares completely deserving moves abroad… The team will look *very* different next year.

    Blanco is without a doubt the best technical player on the team, and he brings a creativity and vision that no-one else has. But he’s wearing my favorite team’s shirt, and I’m embarassed of having to explain to people why he fakes fouls. I’m tired of every game turning into molasses when the young guys want to run at people. This is where I’m coming from.


  • doug

    You are spot on. I remember seeing Blanco chase a ball down to the endline that the much younger defender had given up on. He whipped in a decent cross that, alas, never made it into the goal. But that refusal to give up sold me on Mr. White.


  • chupacabra

    Exactly. What hath Beckham begat? Now what is to stop all DP’s from playing half the season elsewhere and half the season in MLS, collecting two paychecks the whole time? The new definition of DP should be dithering pissbag.


  • rob

    Im thinkin like a GM… we have a few failed experiments of getting big name polish players to come and play for the fire, so thats a pass. And we really need to maintain the latino crowd, and I think we either have to pull in a spanish speaking player, preferably mexican. I’m not the biggest mexican footy follower, but its always nice to have a striker. idk.. Borgetti (long neck) .. grab dos santos? (too young- too talented to come to “mls” though) You need to look for down & out older veteran players typically. And how does the Designated player rule workout if he’s only coming to play “part” of the season.

    My guess is that chicago is going to bite the bullet and play without blanco but welcome him back w/ a pro-rated contract and still keep him under the DP status when he would ‘return’. As opposed to risking a financial bust on getting another potential blanco-esque blockbuster.


  • crazyd

    u all guys can hate blanco or like him whitout him chigago would of not make it 2 times to semiinals he is one of the best players he might not b fast but gots talent in where the passes go he scored goals n seing him play for chicago was shame they suck i member when he first sign the team was in last position but whit him the team got better this is my opinion in blanco hopefully he did the right thing to sign whit veracruz


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