Notre Dame senior Harrison Shipp signs with Chicago Fire

Homegrowns

IMG_0573Notre Dame senior midfielder Harrison Shipp will officially not be available in the SuperDraft. One of the best players in college soccer in 2013 has inked a Homegrown Player contract with the Chicago Fire.

Shipp, a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy for most outstanding player in college soccer, finalized the deal last week before heading to St. Louis for the Friday night award ceremony. Maryland senior Patrick Mullins won the award for a second straight year.

The Lake Forest, Ill., native had a huge year for the Irish even before delivering the assist off a free kick on the game-winning goal in the College Cup final that brought the men’s cup home to South Bend for the first time in his final college game. He scored 12 goals and assisted on 10 others while dominating midfield play this year and finished his career with 23 goals and 24 assists in 83 games. Save for their one loss to Virginia when Darius Madison dominated the game and scored twice, there were few times this season where Shipp wasn’t the best player on the pitch.

Though he played with the Fire Academy in 2009 and 2010 there was some question and an official challenge from an unnamed team over his eligibility to sign as a Homegrown Player but once it was cleared up the Fire were expected to sign him to a deal. Northwestern senior Chris Ritter is also eligible to sign with the Fire ahead of the SuperDraft on Jan. 16.

Shipp joins UCLA senior Matt Wiet and new Columbus Crew teammates Matt Walker of Xavier and Ross Friedman as recent college seniors to sign Homegrown Player contracts with MLS clubs. Underclassmen Jordan Allen (Real Salt Lake) and Jalen Robinson (DC United) have also inked deals. Toronto FC recently signed 17-year-old Jordan Hamilton straight from their Academy.

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