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Impact acquire Harry Shipp from Fire (UPDATED)

Photo by Mike DiNovo/USA Today Sports
Photo by Mike DiNovo/USA Today Sports

A new era is beginning for the Chicago Fire, and Harry Shipp is not going to be part of it.

First reported by early on Saturday, the Fire have dealt the homegrown standout to the Montreal Impact in exchange for General Allocation Money and Targeted Allocation Money.

(UPDATED: The Montreal Impact confirmed the acquisition of Shipp in exchange for GAM and TAM hours after the original report.)

The deal signals a surprising end to Shipp’s time in Chicago. The 24-year-old midfielder has been a regular starter for the Fire since signing a Homegrown Player deal two years ago, and played 33 times last season while scoring three goals and assisting on eight others.

The Fire have been busy this offseason retooling a roster that finished with the worst record in 2015.┬áNew general manager Nelson Rodriguez and recently-appointed head coach Veljko Paunovic have brought in several foreign players, and added promising youngsters like Stanford’s Brandon Vincent as well.

For the Impact, Shipp’s arrival gives them another talented attacking option to complement the likes of Didier Drogba, Ignacio Piatti and Dominic Oduro. The move also helps fill the void left by midfielder Dilly Duka, whose contract expired at the end of last season.

What do you think of the Fire reportedly moving Shipp to the Impact? Wondering exactly what the Fire are doing? Is Shipp a perfect replacement for Duka in Montreal?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. There’s been SO much turnover every year! I liked Shipp but he plays a valuable position where you typically have one of your two best players, usually a foreign player. Remember also the reaction last year when Petke was fired

  2. This move is . . . flabbergasting . . . Stunning how out-of-touch Fire management is with the (few) remaining Fans.

    Shipp was one of the brighter spots on a really bad team last year. Maybe his call-up to the Nats was a slight reach, and his sophomore season wasn’t as good as his initial one but clearly a quality player with a large upside.

    Add to that Shipp was a fan favorite. Would love to see some metrics on how his merchandise did versus other players. One of the players who really showed the fans the honor and passion — he cared that the team wasn’t doing well.

    And personally, I’m not sure how to tell my kids that “Shippy” was traded… pretty likely there will be tears.

    And despite being a season ticket holder for every year of the Fire’s existence, I may just have reached the point that I regret renewing . . .

  3. We bring in talent from our youth system and then ship it out. There’s a proven track record of teams winning and succeeding in MLS with American’s, not a roster of internationals. Amazing how we just give up on our best homegrown prospects so easily to try and buy a name that won’t cut it in MLS.

  4. The new coach can see, that’s all.

    Shipp is a good passer when there is no one marking him and he has a few players to cover his marks in case something goes wrong.

    Not a modern player.

    • Because MLS is so ripe with talent and Chicago is hemorrhaging with players capable of filling his spot and improving the side, right?

      There’s nothing “modern” about Chicago. In fact, everything is archaic and laughable.

  5. At first I was surprised,…Harry Shipp seemed to be the one of the bright spots in the Fire squad. But then it occurred to me,…Nelson Rodriquez is at the helm. His career with MLS has been one big diversity program event/play. Sorry Chicago Fire supporters.

    • “Nelson Rodriquez is at the helm. His career with MLS has been one big diversity program event/play ” ????

      What does that even mean?

      • It means he’s hugely talented and got the job for everything he accomplished while he was MLS Corporate Lackey.

      • BrianK,

        Let me open up or preface my response by saying a few things. I am not really a liberal (I am fairly moderate), nor am I Latino. In fact, my family members are European and American still have uncle/aunts/cousins that live there) – I actually lived in Europe as a child and adult). However, your comment “….Nelson Rodriquez is at the helm. His career with MLS has been one big diversity program event/play. Sorry Chicago Fire supporters…” reeks of ignorance. It strikes me that you clearly think that he has gotten this far because he is Latino, correct?

        While I disagree with the Shipp move, I don’t think I or most other logical people would immediately presume that Nelson Rodriguez is only in this position because his career has been the result of one big diversity program. I have 2 friends from graduate school who work in the sports world at the executive level (primarily with baseball/basketball) in law and marketing.They both say that getting an executive position in sports is so competitive (and rarely available) that it rare to find someone who is completely unqualified for the position even though it does happen, rarely. They may not work out, but it does not mean that they are not qualified.

        To think…I am the one who usually complains that people are too sensitive when it comes to cultural remarks.

      • “Reeks of ignorance” — Anthony,…you must be right. Unlike you,…I have lived under a rock my entire life. Like I said,…Mr. Rodriquez is hugely talented (why would MLS have created all those special roles for him over the years?) and will do a great job for Chicago Fire.

  6. Just coming from an opponents perspective (RB fan) I always thought Shipp was one of the few quality players on a poor team. Do I have that wrong, Fire supporters? Seems odd they only got cap $ for him.

  7. I can’t say it enough: MLS needs to Chivas USA the hell out of the Chicago Fire.

    I don’t know how much more the fan base is expected to take. Everything about the club is poorly run. As a Chicago resident that refuses to attend a match now, even the broadcasts are the most amateur experience I’ve ever had as a fan of pro sports.

    This club has truly become a black eye to the league and instead of worrying about Miami the league/Garber should focus on one of the biggest markets for the game here in the States. The fans love the sport here (of all nationalities) but the product is absolutely in shambles.

    • Hey, there’s an NASL club on the way you could support. At least those folks have a history of caring about the well being of their team and the sport….

    • No. Chivas was a toxic brand, the Fire still have cachet in Chicago, it’s more akin to Wizards. Wins bring relevance, and ownership needs to show that they understand what resonates with the fan base. Chivas was bad branding, bad ownership, a mistake from the outset. The Fire still have a majority of their history in which they were one of the best teams in MLS.

      If NASL can locate in the city they will be a threat to the Fire indoctrinating new fans, but tearing down the existing brand & rebuilding would do nothing to resolve this because the league would still be stuck holding the bag on Toyota Park. A second division club is not a threat unless they have a more convenient location than Bridgeview.

      • “No. Chivas was a toxic brand, the Fire still have cachet in Chicago”

        While opinions are subjective and every one is entitled to one, yours appears to be greatly out of touch. Chicago is absolutely becoming a toxic brand and to say otherwise is baffling.

  8. Chicago is destined to go down in a blaze of glory! They should just change their name to Chicago “dumpster fire” F.C.

  9. Does the Fire organization not appreciate quality players? I suppose a major announcement is on the horizon of a new player acquisition or…

    Kudos to MTL for landing a player that can make an immediate contribution.

  10. Glad I dumped my Fire season tickets have no interest in going except to maybe see some of the Intl players on other teams. Baseball spring training starts soon and the Cubs look good. MLS and the Fire have ruined domestic soccer for me.


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