CHICAGOChicago Fire FC goalkeeper Gabriel "Gaga" Slonina was named to the MLSsoccer.com 22 Under 22, presented by BODYARMOR, the League announced today. The 18-year-old Homegrown comes in at fourth in the rankings. The voting panel was made up by MLSsoccer.com staff, members of the MLS player department and external media. Voters were asked to rank their Top-22 players in order based on technical, tactical, physical, and potential abilities.
So far this season, Slonina has started in all 32 regular season matches and logged 2880 minutes. The Addison, Ill. native has also notched 12 clean sheets, ranking him third in the league in that category.
Most recently Slonina emerged on the global stage following his Club-record, multi-million-dollar signing with English Premier League club Chelsea FC in August. The agreement with Chelsea was the most expensive transfer fee for a player in Fire history, as Slonina became the youngest Fire player to sign with a team in a top-five European league.
Slonina originally joined the Chicago Fire youth system at 10 years old before inking a professional contract with the first team on March 8, 2019. At just 14 years old, Slonina became the second-youngest player signing in MLS history behind Freddy Adu and the youngest Homegrown signing in League history at the time.
At the international level, Slonina earned his first call-up to the U.S. Men's National Team in December 2021 and was later called up to the USMNT in January 2022 for FIFA World Cup qualifying matches. Slonina has also represented the U.S. on the youth stage, earning eight caps at the U-15, U-16, U-17, and U-20 levels.
Slonina and the Fire will host an international friendly match this Saturday, Sept. 24, against Liga MX side Club León at SeatGeek Stadium at 5:00 p.m. CT. The match will be hosted and operated by Latin Entertainment Inc. and tickets are available on Ticketmaster and TicketsVIP.net .
Following the FIFA window, the Fire will return to league play on Saturday, Oct. 1 when the team travels to face FC Cincinnati at 6:30 p.m. at TQL Stadium. The match will be televised live on WGN-TV and CF97 Live, and transmitted locally in Spanish on TUDN 1200 AM.