The Chicago Fire have signed Scottish midfielder Shaun Maloney as a designated player, the club announced on Sunday.
Maloney, 32, comes to MLS from Wigan Athletic of the English Championship, where he posted 15 goals and 17 assists in 91 matches across all competitions. He led Wigan to its first major trophy win in club history when they upset Manchester City for the 2013 FA Cup.
“I’m very happy to be joining the Fire,” Maloney said. “I owe a lot to the manager, Frank Yallop, and the owner, Andrew Hauptman, for getting this done. I certainly didn’t expect it to get done this quickly, so I appreciate the faith that they’ve shown in me.”
The Malaysian-born Maloney joined Celtic as a youth trainee in 1999 and debuted with the senior team in 2001. Limited to just three matches in 2004-05 because of injury, Maloney bounced back to score 16 goals in 43 matches for Celtic in 2005-06.
In February 2007, Maloney signed a deal with Aston Villa of the English Premier League, but returned to Celtic in August 2008. He joined Wigan in August 2011.
Maloney has been part of Scotland’s men’s national team since 2005 and has four goals in 37 international caps. He was the Scottish Player of the Year in 2006 and was also the Scottish Young Player of the Year—the first player to capture both honors in the same season. Maloney is the third DP signing by the Fire this offseason, joining Ghanaian forward David Accam and Nigerian forward Kennedy Igboananike.
- Phil Watson