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Ligue 1 midfielder heading to MLS, linked with Fire

JeanBaptistePierazziAjaccio2 (Panorama)


One of the 20 Ligue 1 captains is heading to the United States to continue his career.

Last-placed club AC Ajaccio announced today that captain Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi has a contract offer from an unnamed club in the United States and could make the transfer next month. Though it wasn’t included in Ajaccio’s release, French publication L’Equipe is reporting that the 28-year-old midfielder will head to the Chicago Fire.

“The club has decided not to oppose (Pierazzi’s) departure,” reads the official release. “It is very likely that Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi leave (Ajaccio) in early January.

Both MLS and the Fire have yet to publicly comment on this report.

The proposed move would be Pierazzi’s first ever away from Ajaccio, where he came through the youth system and made his first-team debut in 2006. Since then, he’s made nearly 200 appearances in Ligue 2 and Ligue 1 combined. Pierazzi helped lead Ajaccio back to the first division in 2011. This season, Pierazzi has played 16 times for Ajaccio with no goals scored.

MLS currently has 12 players from France (not including those born in Africa and raised in France like Peguy Luyindula) in the league, with the New York Red Bulls Thierry Henry leading the group.

Ajaccio are rock-bottom in the 20-team Ligue 1, with just nine points from 19 games and only one win this season.


What do you think of this report? Where do you see Pierazzi heading? Impressed that a regular in Ligue 1 would want to come to MLS in his prime?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I will believe it when I see it. Fire coach Yallop is scouting in the UK and I’m sure he was responsible for the Tottenham exhibition game with the Fire. Yallop is more interested in bringing over younger players on a loan to blood into the MLS. Also, I heard that it was San Jose that had interest in this player. Maybe something was lost in the translation since Yallop used to be the coach of the Quakes.

  2. Oh, fellow MLS fans, how silly you can be. probably no one on this thread has seen this guy pay, yet we are sure that he is not good enough. Remember that none of us had heard of or seen Valeri, Montero, Collin or.Camilo either. calm down and let’s see what he is made of…

  3. Considering the names that have been tossed around in recent weeks, and considering the names of some Euro players that will be free transfers at the end of the year ….. this is really underwhelming. I hope he’s not a DP.

  4. That team sucks, thats where exmexicos goal keeper guillermo ochoa plays and hes also moving.
    Only if fire had deep pockets, real soccer ambitions, a real soccer stadium downtown or at least take ur stadium to the next level. All im saying its chicago and its a big fancy seattle.
    I think MLS cities like LA, seattle, chicago, houston, dallas, ny, denver shouldn’t have a problem with a fanbase and attracting top DPs.
    Not only those cities but also DC, portland, montreal, toronto, boston new england and even miami.
    So in reality, if big city markets had all downtown stadiums, they would all be successful RIGHT? definitely a yes.

    • Chicago is not a “big fancy Seattle.” It’s a different animal. Chicago has a much more overcrowded sports market than Seattle – Bears, Bulls, White Sox, Cubs, and Blackhawks, not to mention the Wolves and the Sky, and plus the college teams such as UIC, Illinois, and Northwestern – ALL of these teams get more media coverage than the Fire.

      So sure, you can put a big fancy stadium in the Loop or in trendy Logan Square. It’s still not going to change the sports culture of Chicago.

      • Nico C comments:

        “Chicago is not a “big fancy Seattle.” It’s a different animal. Chicago has a much more overcrowded sports market than Seattle – Bears, Bulls, White Sox, Cubs, and Blackhawks, not to mention the Wolves and the Sky, and plus the college teams such as UIC, Illinois, and Northwestern – ALL of these teams get more media coverage than the Fire.”

        Los Angeles is an overcrowded sports market like Chicago. Los Angeles has the Angels, Dodgers, Kings, Lakers, Clippers, USC and UCLA sports and yet the Galaxy get the same amount of coverage as those teams that I have mentioned. The difference between the Fire and the Galaxy is that the Galaxy hire soccer people that knows how to market the sport properly. Chicago hires guys off the street that have little knowledge of the game. Besides, Chicago Fire doesn’t have a English radio station to listen to the games and their TV deals are a joke.

        You mentioned the Blackhawks…..from 1999-2007, they were irrelevant and nobody wanted to talk Blackhawk hockey until they reshaped the organization from a marketing standpoint and putting a great product on the ice. Chicago is more/less a Bears and Cubs town……nobody cares about the Sky or UIC, the Fire are more popular than Sky and UIC.

      • Here, here! Good, sir. Though, the fire do have a long history of acquiring talented players for all of 3-4 months and then cutting them. If surprised if he was still on the books start of next season.

    • MLS….Minor League Soccer. What do you call leagues in El Salvador, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Japan, Korea (North and South) and especially Scotland?

      MLS is more like Liga MX with a salary cap, Denmark, Bundesliga 2, Belgium.

  5. Daniel,

    Not that I dislike a Ligue 1 captain coming to join our league, but this guy is not nearly as good as Arebalo Rios, but I still bet he’ll get paid a good deal (maybe just under what a DP contract counts against the salary cap). Why would Yallop give away such a great holding midfielder for this one?

    • Because Rios was only on loan from Palermo in Italy. In order to keep him on they’d either have to pay to extend the loan or pay for the full transfer. Consider the fact that he joined Palermo for roughly 2.5 million Euros how much do you think the transfer fee would cost? This player is heading out of contract this year and is likely to be let go by the club in January for very little money if they wanted to get the transfer done in January.

    • Looks like I shouldn’t rely on getting up to date news from the MLS PR department.
      See also: Cruz Azul acquisitions.
      Although its holiday break, they’re remarkably inept at responding to activity,
      especially for a league that owns the rights to all current and incoming players.

    • I agree. Rios is a bigger name and perform well, in his short time. Fire always screw-up in end the season when the Fire start finding team chemistry and improvement.


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