Chicago Fire acquire Toronto FC forward Gilberto off waivers - sources
The Chicago Fire's quest for help up front has seen them turn to a familiar face in MLS circles, as the club have acquired Brazilian forward Gilberto off waivers from Toronto FC, sources have told ESPN FC.
The move comes hours after Chicago ended its pursuit of Ivorian striker Didier Drogba, whose rights they traded to the Montreal Impact in exchange for what one source indicated was a record amount of targeted and regular allocation money.
When asked to elaborate, the source said the total amount of allocation money was at least double the $125,000 that New York City FC paid the Los Angeles Galaxy for the rights to acquire Frank Lampard. With regards to the amount of funds the Fire received, Chicago manager Frank Yallop would only say that it was a "very good" amount of money that the club received.
The deal for Drogba's rights is contingent on the player signing a contract with Montreal, which sources now say is imminent.
Considering that Drogba was never a Chicago player, that amounts to a good bit of business for the Fire, who gained monetary assets as well as a forward who is already familiar with the league.
Gilberto scored seven goals in 28 league games last season but he became surplus to requirements prior to the current campaign after TFC signed U.S. international striker Jozy Altidore. That signing gave Toronto one more than the maximum three Designated Players, so TFC opted to loan Gilberto to Brazilian side Vasco da Gama. With Gilberto now returning, Toronto was forced to waive the player since he is still a Designated Player, and Chicago was first in the waiver draft order since it is currently in last place in the league-wide table.
Gilberto's nine goals in 13 matches led Vasco to the Rio de Janeiro state championship (also known as Carioca 1), including the game-winner in the final against Botafogo. In this year's Serie A, however, Gilberto failed to find the net in 12 appearances.
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.