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updated: 8/9/2017 6:53 PM

Chicago Fire acquire Christian Dean in a trade with the Whitecaps

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  • Christian Dean

    Christian Dean

 
 

With the Major League Soccer summer transfer window about to close Wednesday night, the Chicago Fire made a trade for Vancouver Whitecaps central defender Christian Dean to add depth to its back line.

No other moves were expected, ending a quiet window for the second-place Fire.

The 24-year-old Dean never lived up to expectations at the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. He made just 21 appearances for Vancouver in four seasons, including 14 starts.

The Fire sent $50,000 in general allocation money to Vancouver and will send another $50,000 in targeted allocation money if Dean starts 12 or more games for the Fire in 2018.

Dean is under contract through 2018 with team options for 2019 and 2020.

"Christian adds a complementary skill set to our back line and with his versatility, we expect him to compete for playing time," said Fire general manager Nelson Rodríguez in a team news release.

The 6-foot-3 Dean will back up Johan Kappelhof and Joao Meira, with Jonathan Campbell also in the mix.

The trade was first reported by Fire television sideline reporter Paul Tenorio, who also writes for FourFourTwo magazine.

Dropping like flies:

All of a sudden Wednesday it seemed the Fire could use some reinforcements.

Dax McCarty and Michael Harrington missed practice due to illness. Then Johan Kappelhof, Juninho and Matt Polster left practice early.

Kappelhof said his groin was a little sore and leaving practice was just a precautionary measure. He expects to be ready to play Saturday.

Coach Veljko Paunovic said the other illnesses and injuries are not serious and those players are expected to be available also.

"Late in the season we have to start working on a more individualized program for every player depending on how they feel," Paunovic said.

Left back Brandon Vincent, who has missed the last three games with a quad strain, did some light jogging on the side, which would indicate he won't play Saturday at Columbus (6:30 p.m., CSN Plus), though Paunovic didn't rule it out.

Focused on an encore:

Fire left back Patrick Doody didn't take much time to savor Saturday night's 3-assist performance in a 4-1 victory against New England on Saturday.

"Sunday was a cool day, Monday (too), but honestly yesterday when I got here it was on to next week," Doody, 25, said Wednesday after practice outside Toyota Park.

Doody got the start in place of the injured Vincent, only his second game of the season after not playing at all in 2016.

"What's cool about being from Naperville is you hear from a lot of teachers and old classmates and stuff like that," the Neuqua Valley High School alumnus said. "It was definitely neat hearing from people I hadn't talked to in a couple of years."

Doody said he had a big contingent of family and friends at Toyota Park to see his rare start, and he made it worth their while.

"All the really special people were there, so that kinda really made that night cool," he said.

The 3 assists earned Doody a spot on the MLS team of the week. He diverted credit to his teammates, however.

"I've played a lot of soccer games, and it's rare when kind of everything you put in the box they happen to score. I was just playing normal and the guys were making great goals.

"The confidence is good. I know that this is a big opportunity for me, and I'm honestly just trying to take it game by game and keep trying to do enough to help us win but also hopefully get my name called again," Doody said.

The long road back:

It's been five months since midfielder John Goossens tore up his right ankle in the first game of the season at Columbus. The Fire returns to Columbus on Saturday, but without Goossens.

Goossens was back on the training field with his teammates but working with a trainer on the side.

"I"m getting better," an upbeat Goossens said. "It's a long process, but I feel good. It's good to be outside again. It feels a little weird with my right but luckily I'm a lefty so that helps a little bit."

With two months left in the season, Goossens isn't ready to predict a return.

"That's really hard to say. It was a pretty difficult injury. I mean we're doing every day the maximum we can do," Goossens said. "I'm still hopeful. We're doing great and a few more points and we have the playoffs, so we can extend the season a little bit. I'm still hopeful, yeah."

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