Chicago Fire signing Gulley as Homegrown Player

KellenGully (

Photo by

The Chicago Fire will be adding another player to its roster, but it won't be a player coming via the international route.

The Fire have agreed to terms with U.S. Under-17 striker Kellen Gulley to make him the latest Homegrown Player signed by the Fire, sources told SBI this week. Chicago is expected to make the announcement next week.

Gulley was one of the stars of the U.S. Under-17 national team before a knee injury sidelined him and forced him to miss the Under-17 World Cup.

Widely regarded as one of the top prospects in the nation, Gulley has been a star for the Chicago Fire Youth teams as well as being a part of the U.S. Under-17 National Team Residency Program.

A native of Clinton, Mississippi, Gulley is a speedy striker who is considered good enough to be fast-tracked into earning playing time in MLS by next year.

What do you think of this development? Familiar with Gulley? Can you see him breaking through like Juan Agudelo did with New York?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in MLS- Chicago Fire. Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Chicago Fire signing Gulley as Homegrown Player

  1. Eloc says:

    The Fire can claim kids from Mississippi?

  2. rambo says:

    I have heard alot of good things about this kid but never watched him live yet.

  3. Modibo says:

    Glad to hear of another homegrown player signing,and as a Fire fan I hope he works out. But that picture…

  4. Is that Blue Steel that he’s doing?

  5. bigPepe'sPapa says:

    he looks angry, like he’s modeling his behavioral game on Balotelli.

  6. T says:

    He looks hard….

  7. DeLarge says:

    Something sinister about that picture. I like it.

    Hope he pans out…

  8. AL17 says:

    The Fire has a Youth team in Jackson, Mississippi, so I’m assuming he played for that team. So, yeah they can claim him.

    The Fire has youth teams in Michigan, Indiana, Iowa and who knows where else.

    I know other teams are in a similar boat when it comes to teams throughout the country.

  9. frank from sf says:

    kinda looks like Pepe from R.Madrid…lol

  10. fenel says:

    He looks like Ronald Gomez from costa rica.

  11. KC says:

    What’s up with the Conehead!

  12. LA G says:

    I have a former u-17 player on my high school team and he said that Kellen Gulley was by far the best player on the team. Good signing!

  13. Train says:

    he looks like the dude that sings “Chocolate Rain”

  14. UCanStudyBuzzed says:

    lol i was just gonna say that…he looks JUST like Pepe from Real!

  15. mistadobolina says:

    +1 thinking the same

  16. maka says:

    If they can use players from their academy is Mississippi and RSL and use players from their academy in Arizona… then I don’t know.

  17. Randy says:

    Glad to see Spock’s child has taken up soccer

  18. otergod says:

    kellen was a stud before getting injured. I’d assume he’s regained his play due to the signing. Nice pickup Fire.

  19. boosted335 says:

    Gully 4 sho

    ha ha..but seriously i’d probably be shook if i saw him in an alley

  20. assocfoot says:

    I remember seeing him on TV pre-injury – Concacaf qualifying maybe – looked very good. Don’t know if he can have an Agudelo/Najar type early impact but he looked like he might have more to offer, and more quickly, than Jack Mc for Philly, for example.

  21. danny says:


  22. Thug says:

    I don’t know if I’m the only one, but some of the best and most exciting news to me pertaining to MLS is homegrown players signed. To me it really shows how far the league has come and its always nice to have young players signed professional. Hopefully this kid turns out to be a Agudelo/Najar type, it’ll be nice to see how he ends up.

  23. FireBOBNow! says:

    according to Brian Bliss the Crew technical director the way it works with MLS Academies is that each team has a home territory … usually 75 mile radius or in the case of a sparsely populated area maybe a whole state or two … what each is exactly for each team is anybodies guess but each team has a “Home Territory”.

    Kids from a team’s Home Territory cannot be a part of another MLS team’s youth academy or qualify as homegrown players or be signed unless compensation is agreed to (as is the case with Vancouver getting rights Aleman as part of a trade with TFC or Colorado having to compensate TFC for Janniere).

    but teams can also apply for and be assigned “Satellite Territories” where the league grants them exclusive access to some territory outside their home territory … like RSL-AZ or Chicago Fire-MS. kids out of those satellite territories that meet the homegrown requirements (still very much a cloudy mystery by the clandestine MLS) then they can be signed as well.

    i also guess that with the advent of residential academies these satellite territories will most likely be exclusive, meaning one residential academy cannot sign up a player from some other MLS teams satellite territory (just like they couldn’t sign up a player from that team’s Home Territory).

    and i also assume there is much of the nation that is simply free game at this point and kids from those as yet unspecified areas can be part of any team’s youth academy if they can convince the parents to move or if that team has a residential academy.

  24. Eloc says:

    I just think its funny hes claimed under “home grown”. should be called a youth discovery player if nothing else. He clearly wasnt “developed” by anyone with the Chicago Fire which is what I thought the home grown initiative was supposed to be used for.

    I do like the signing though. Just think it should go in a different category as the kids actually being groomed and developed by other MLS academies that are being signed as real home grown players.

  25. Oranje says:

    Saw him play at the SUM Cup last year and wasn’t particularly impressed, but one game is one game.

  26. Carl says:

    Each MLS team should send two academy players to MLS HQ annually, let’s call them “tributes.” There they will fight to the death in a televised show called the “Hunger Games.” 😉

    Has anyone else read that book–it’s awesome!

  27. nic d "the texas 2 stepper" says:

    There has always been a movement to Chicago from Mississippi (BLUES MUSIC).

    Mississippi > Memphis > St. Louis > Chicago

    I like it for Soccer too. Does Chicago have an academy in Mississippi?

  28. ugly says:

    +1111186987 lmao

  29. RK says:

    Mississippi Burning?

  30. nic d "the texas 2 stepper" says:

    And he does look like Pepe Junior

  31. Eric says:

    He looks just like Pepe.

  32. Lame says:

    “He looks like..”. This website is read by a lot of morons.

  33. UCanStudyBuzzed says:

    and you apparently have never watched real madrid….

  34. Good Jeremy says:

    Sounds like a good prospect and it’s always good to see more academy players get signed professionally, but stop shaving your eyebrows kid. Whatever the two slashes means is either something you don’t have or something that will get you jailtime if you do have.

  35. Seriously says:

    He played for the fire academy team based out of Mississippi. He was developed in teh Chicago fire youth system. He is certainly a home grown player.

    Better to be thought of as stupid and keep your mouth shut, than to open it and remove all doubt.

  36. Seriously says:

    Yes Chicago has an academy in Mississippi.

  37. Rees says:

    MLS clubs need to sign their youth strikers before Liverpool gets them!

  38. abm says:

    Eloc, are you a Sounders fan by any chance?

  39. abm says:

    yeah it’s pretty racist imo

  40. Richard, UK says:

    Wasn’t Victor Pineda a homegrown player?

  41. otergod says:


  42. Jamie says:

    I’m sure you wouldn’t find it racist if he was white and someone said he looked like Matt Damon.

  43. John Doe says:

    Absolutely. The double standard in playing the race card is ignorant and disgusting.

  44. ba mofo approved says:

    i can confirm this

  45. abc says:

    No, not at all.

  46. Don Pelayo says:

    The double-slash, shaved eyebrow is part of the initiation rites to join the global soccer speedsters fraternity. Currently Aaron Lennon is the Grand Master.

  47. Steve the Arsonist says:

    If the Fire’s, and any other teams, ownership is willing to invest the money to develop academies in additional regions (which expands the leagues brand to areas that don’t have their own team) then they are more likely to become stronger squad over the long term. It shows a real commitment to becoming a top shelf organization.

  48. Arrow says:

    I have played with and against Kellen Gulley. He is by far one of the most skilled players in Mississippi and the nation at his age. Kellen has always been a danger for any team he plays against and a major asset for whoever he plays for. I feel that he could be successful in the wings of a midfield as well as up top in the striker position. This may be a minor stepping stone and we might find him playing in Europe. Fire has made a great signing.

  49. bigd says:

    Yes, the Fire has a club in MS that is sending players to Chicago. I see that Gulley and two other kids from MS are playing in this weeks Generation Adidas tourney in Dallas with Fire. CONGRATS to Gulley!

  50. soc1414 says:

    This idea that MLS clubs are putting money or time into regional clubs if false, these regional clubs actually pay 16-20 dollars per kid to the MLS club and of course they all buy there uniforms which is money that goes to MLS club and is great for PR for the MLS Club. The regional clubs hardly ever see anyone from the MLS club and the pay to be a part of the the club.

  51. Sgc says:

    The man has only one look, for Christ’s sake! Blue Steel? Ferrari? Le Tigra? They’re the same face! Doesn’t anybody notice this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!