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Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Wizards trade Gutierrez to Fire for John

CHICAGO -- Midfielder Diego Gutierrez is back in the Windy City.

The Chicago Fire acquired the Colombian midfielder from the Kansas City Wizards on Wednesday for midfielder Will John and a second-round pick in the 2006 draft.

Gutierrez, 33, was claimed by Chicago in the 1997 expansion draft and helped the Fire win three MLS Cups in four seasons. He also won a championship as a member of the Wizards in 2004.

"In my mind, Diego has been one of the finest players in Major League Soccer since the beginning of the league," Fire coach Dave Sarachen said. "With Diego having played an important role on championship teams in the past, I feel he'll provide our team valuable experience, leadership, versatility and a championship mentality. He knows Chicago and he knows the team, and we know him, so we're all very excited to have him back in a Fire uniform."

Chicago sent Gutierrez to the Wizards in February 2002 for the fifth overall pick in the draft.

Gutierrez still ranks fifth on the Fire in career assists (26) and game-winning assists (7).

In 208 MLS games, Gutierrez has recorded 10 goals and 39 assists.

The 20-year-old John played little in his rookie season, recording one assist in six games.




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