The Chicago Fire announced Monday it had mutually agreed to terminate the contract of underperforming forward David Arshakyan.
The 6-foot-4 Armenian was one of the more perplexing signings in Fire history. Arshakyan, 23, signed in August 2016 but never scored or assisted on a goal for the Fire in 16 regular-season appearances. Worse, he never displayed MLS-level skills. Yet his contract option was picked up last month for reasons the club has yet to discuss.
Arshakyan was playing in the Lithuanian first division when the Fire discovered him.
"Despite the best efforts of both sides, these past 16 months did not work out as either would have hoped. We wish David the best of luck as he continues his career," said Fire general manager Nelson Rodríguez in a news release.
Arshakyan's departure frees up a valuable international roster slot for the Fire. He was paid $178,850 in 2017, according to MLS Players Association figures, so the Fire will realize significant savings under the league salary cap.
Arshakyan's departure leaves 18 players on the Fire roster. Two of those players, Michael de Leeuw and Djordje Mihailovic, are expected to miss at least the first couple of months of the 2018 season after tearing an ACL late in the 2017 season.
The 2018 preseason begins in late January.