• July 11, 2020

MLS: Uganda Cranes Star Azira Joins New Team

 MLS: Uganda Cranes Star Azira Joins New Team

Uganda’s midfielder Mike Azira (R) challenges Ghana’s forward Jordan Ayew during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group D football match between Ghana and Uganda in Port-Gentil on January 17, 2017. / AFP / Justin TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Uganda Cranes star Mike Azira has joined Chicago fire from Montreal Impact on deadline day in the US Major League soccer.

Azira was an integral figure for the Cranes in the recently concluded AFCON where he commanded the midfield with Khalid Aucho to lift the team to the knockout for the first time since 1978.

Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced on Wednesday that it has acquired Azira and a second-round draft pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft from the Montreal Impact.

Uganda’s Mike Azira (2-L) in action during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 soccer match between Uganda and Senegal at Cairo International Stadium. Photo: Gehad Hamdy/dpa (Photo by Gehad Hamdy/picture alliance via Getty Images)

In exchange, the Fire traded defender Jorge Corrales to the Montreal Impact.

The Chicago Fire is an American professional soccer club based in the suburb of Bridgeview, Illinois. The team competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference, having moved to the conference in 2002.

The central midfielder, has spent the past six seasons playing in MLS, compiling 120 league appearances – Chicago will be his fourth club in MLS after spells with Seattle Sounders FC, Colorado Rapids and Montreal Impact.

Mike Magee #18 of Los Angeles Galaxy battles Michael Azira #22 of Colorado Rapids during Los Angeles Galaxy’s MLS Playoff Semifinal match against Colorado Rapids at the StubHub Center on October 30, 2016 in Carson, California. The Los Angeles Galaxy won the match 1-0 (Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images)

He has played for Uganda Cranes in the 2017 and 2019 AFCON in Gabon and Egypt respectively.

The 31 year old player began his professional career in the USA’s lower division (USL Championship) with the Charleston Battery in 2012, spending two seasons with the club, before signing with Seattle Sounders FC in 2013.

Brian Kawalya

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