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Fire Signs Veteran Goalkeeper Jon Busch

April 7, 2007 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Chicago Fire News Release

BRIDGEVIEW, IL (April 7, 2007) - The Chicago Fire has secured the services of four-year MLS veteran goalkeeper Jon Busch with a contract that will place the 30-year-old Albany, N.Y. native on the squad's 28-man roster. With the signing of Busch, the Fire sends a natural 2009 Supplemental Draft fourth round selection to Toronto FC, his previous rights holder. The 2004 MLS All-Star was most recently with Toronto throughout the preseason after being claimed off waivers from the Columbus Crew. Per Major League Soccer (MLS) and team policy, specific terms of the deal were not disclosed. As a result of the signing, third-year Fire goalkeeper David Mahoney has been waived by the club.

"We're very pleased to add a player with the background and experience to the goalkeeper position with Jon Busch," said Fire head coach Dave Sarachan. "He's been an All-Star, he's been a starter, and with keeping with the theme of trying to acquire the best roster we can, being able to add Jon enhances what we feel is an already solid goalkeeping department."

Busch will be counted on to add depth between the pipes, as the nine-year pro was a constant for the Columbus Crew from 2002-2006, missing games both in 2005 (9GP, 1.65 GAA) and 2006 (8 GP, 1.13 GAA) after suffering two separate season-ending ACL injuries. The 5-10 netminder played every minute of the Crew's run to its lone Open Cup title in 2002, going 4-0 with a 0.71 GAA and two shutouts in four start, making four saves to shut out the Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 in the final. Busch currently holds the Columbus goalkeeper career record for wins (35), shutouts (25), games played (84), started (83), minutes (7,520), saves (367), and goals against average (1.24).

Before his time in Columbus, Busch honed his skills playing in the then-A-League (now USL First Division) from 1997-2001 and was named the A-League Goalkeeper of the Year - in addition to being a first-team All-League selection - following the 2001 season with the now-defunct Hershey Wildcats. Between 1998-2001 he tended the nets with the Hampton Roads Mariners, picking up team MVP (1999) and A-League Team of the Week (1998) honors along the way. His first professional season began in 1997, splitting time between the Worcester Wildfire and the Carolina Dynamo of the A-League, after being drafted by the Nashville Metros in the first round (No. 2 overall) of the 1997 A-League draft.

Busch has also represented the U.S. Men's National Team once, earning his way into squad's goalkeeping picture in 2005 and capturing his first and only cap, shutting out Colombia 3-0 in a friendly in Fullerton, Calif. He has also represented the U.S. at the Under-17 and U-20 levels. The University of North Carolina-Charlotte product played three seasons for the 49ers (1994-96), leading them to the 1996 NCAA Men's College Cup and subsequently garnering an NSCAA First-Team All-America selection in 1996.

TRANSACTION: CHICAGO FIRE signs goalkeeper Jon Busch in exchange for a natural 2009 Supplemental Draft fourth round selection to Toronto FC; waives goalkeeper David Mahoney.

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