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MLS Notes: Fire acquire Martinez; Toronto FC lands Peterson and more



New Chicago Fire coach and former El Salvador boss Carlos de los Cobos has added one of his former international players to his new stable of talent.

The Fire signed El Salvador-international Julio Martinez on loan from Club Leon FC of Mexico's second division Thursday, bringing a skilled, technically-sound player into a midfield that is in need of just that.

"Julio is a true professional with a winner's mentality who will come in and help out team," de los Cobos said in a press release. "I could not be happier about his signing and look forward to incorporating him in with the rest of the guys."

Martinez, 24, scored two goals in 10 appearances in 2009 for El Salvador, and he joins draft picks Corben Bone and Drew Yates as those looking to replace the departed Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Chris Rolfe.


The Colorado Rapids shipped midfielder Jacob Peterson north of the border to Toronto FC in exchange for an undisclosed amount of allocation money.

Peterson, coming off an ACL tear, is "a player that (Toronto coach) Preki has been wanting for some time," according to TFC director of soccer operations Mo Johnston.


Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad has been added to Canada's roster for the team's Jan. 31 friendly at Jamaica, according to The Canadian Press.

Onstad, 42, has earned 56 caps for Canada and is the oldest player in MLS. Dynamo teammate Andrew Hainault is also on Canada's roster.


Think Martinez will be able to fill some of the void in Chicago? Think Peterson will blossom under Preki? Amazed that Onstad can still get it done?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. The only team in Mexico that doesn’t employ foreigners is Chivas; America, Pachuca, and Toluca are LOADED with South American players, and pretty much every other team has a few. But you’re right in saying that the wages in Mexico are WAAAAAAAY higher than most other places.

  2. Blanco is still a great player, but he was played as a 2nd forward too often last year. Hamlett should have stuck with the original plan of playing Blanco as an attacking midfielder with 2 forwards in front of him. I like the moves the Fire has made this offseason, but I don’t think the team is better off without Blanco.

  3. If Carlos De los Cobos brings the fast pace offensive style of play to Chicago, I will definitely be watching. It should be fun to watch the Fire this season.

    The Mexican league is a little better than the MLS in regards of beautiful futbol!:) The MLS is a bit more physical, but the Mexican league is little more attractive to watch for now.

  4. All loans for the MLS are option to buy from what I’ve heard. The Fire will be better this season than they have been for the past 3 or 4 years. I hope Blanco doesnt come back. He is not a good player anymore. Lose Segares, get Krol. Lose Rolfe, get Martinez. Lose Blanco, get Bone. Resign Pappa, McBride and Brown. And the best move of the off season is…. Losing Denis “The Menace” Hamlett for good!

  5. Justin Mapp? Really?

    I tell you what, from what I remember they played Blanco, Papa, Pause and who Mapp, if I’m not mistaken it was Thorrington unless McBride went down I think I can recall them using Blanco as a withdrawn forward?

    No you put Thorrington on the right, he’s a pretty good work horse, then you put Papa and Martinez in the middle and someone like Nyarko can play on the wing. Or you can put Papa on the left wing as he is a lefty and will drift inward anyway and play maybe Pause as the CD-M or I’m not sure where this kid Corben Bone plays?

    I hope they don’t start Map, this guy along with Papa can make a difference, Papa can play the wing but I think a more cetral and creative role is within his ability and would allow him to really dominate in MLS, specially with the type of Football De los Cobos plays, get ready boys & girls of the windy city, you’re going to see great, offensive and aggresive fun to watch Football!

    It wouldn’t surprise me if more people start to go to the stadium too! An average of less than 16K is unacceptable, Chicago being the 3rd biggest city should have at least 17-18K for an 80% sell out!

  6. I think they gave up on Pacheco too easily, he did score in Trinidad when they played W Connection, but lik you said the whole defense and even midfield was a problem, but they got another Central American probably better than Pacheco in Miller from Costa Rica.

    I hope he maybe finds work in DC or Houston, I know Houston don’t really have a great LB, Mike Chabala isn’t exactly great, and Hainault will probably play CB nest to Eddie Robinson if they move Cameron to DM.

    I hope they develop Danny Cruz well.

  7. He would of stayed in El Salvador and so would have Cristian Castillo and Rodolfo Zelaya, but the wages in Mexico are extremely high, even for Argentina and Brazil’s biggest, richest clubs.

    America, Cruz Azul, Pachuca, Toluca, Chivas although they don’t employ forgeiners but help set up the salary market, and the rest of the teams pay very well. I can bet some teams have a bigger salary on just about any of their lines (forward, mids, defenders) than entire MLS teams with maybe the exception of Galaxy, last year’s Fire, and maybe Seattle.

    But even then, that’s pretty sad if maybe 6 or 8 players in Mexico’s teams get more than every MLS team pays to ALL their players.

    So with that kind of sources and history as well as culture of love for the sport, sorry we should be getting creamed, yeah we got nice facilities and the dollar is worth over a dozen pesos, but there’s no comparison as to how many players and the level of talent which plays in MLS teams compared to Mexico’s teams.

  8. does anyone know if the Fire has an option to buy or extend. I can see Martinez being great and gone after one season. I’m hoping for a Pappa scenario where the Fire can buy him if they want him longer than a one year loan.

  9. I don’t think there’s much of a chance of him coming back to the Fire. If he does, that’s great, but as a Fire fan I’m not counting on it. Maybe the fact that the Fire now has a Mexican head coach raises the odds a little, but I still don’t see it happening.

  10. Not to mention that alot of those players are currently playing overseas for relatively big clubs at big wages, give it time and it will happen but realistically

  11. Martinez is a player that could probably play in the first division so you cant really say that…. leon has always been a club that is up and down in Mexico as well

  12. Ummm …

    Ali Gerba, Jim Brennan, Nana Attakora, Julian De Guzman, Dwayne DeRosario, Adrian Serioux and maybe O’Brian White.

    I don’t know, that’s not too bad IMO.

  13. its starting to show that the Mexican league is just barely better though….we are getting up there

    i dont know if Martinez could be a starter, i dont know if hes better than Mapp and Pappa….i see cristian castillo doing well at DC United

  14. Hes done wont come back. he has his own TV show now down in Mexico thats going to air on FoxSports espanol here in the states. the guy is a god down there.

  15. Mexicos Second division is the first division devlopment league in a sense. the ,exican second division is also much stronger than most of the first division leagues in central america.

  16. yup its the Finanicals they had nothing but good things to say about the two. these guys wont be flops like pacheco. then again poor guy hardly could make a difference when the rest of NY’s D was swizz cheese.

  17. If he can regain form, you got a steal. The Raps probably got like 20 bucks and a Coors Light for him, as much as the front office ’round these parts hated him.

  18. For a team based in Canada you might think there would be more canadians. I suppose its because the league is called American Major League Soccer (plus canada) and open more for young american soccer players.

  19. Is TFC every going to get some Canadian players? Iain Hume? Richard Hastings? Rhian Dodd? Jamie Peters? Issey Nakajima Farran? Olivier Occean? Adrian Cann? Simeon Jackson? Josh Simpson? Isidro Sanchez? Nic Ledgerwood? Lars Hirschfield, Stephen Ademolu, Andrew Ornoch? It’s not like there aren’t plenty of Canadians out there, especially in leagues at the same level or lower than MLS. It’d be great to see more Canadians on TFC.

  20. Speedy. Can play up front or wing in the midfield. Can cause some problems up front but didn’t really score much. I can’t remember when he got to Colorado but he was seen as a work in progress with some upside… shame to lose him.

  21. Good for Onstad. Not a Dynamo fan or a Canada NT fan, but just glad to see a player defy his age and stay hungry for national team caps even at his age.

  22. Anybody have any insight to why a team like Leon is loaning away these players to the MLS? They are league 2 so it cant be because the players arn’t getting PT so is it simply a finanical thing where they hope the player will then be bought or some other reason?


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