Bridgeview, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - After several weeks of speculation, the Chicago Fire announced late Sunday night the club has signed Scottish international attacker Shaun Maloney from English Championship side Wigan Athletic.
Maloney joins the Fire as the club's third Designated Player and will be added to the roster upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and his P1 Visa. Per MLS and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Shaun is a very experienced player, having played in both the English and Scottish Premier Leagues, and we're very happy to have signed someone of his caliber," said Fire head coach and director of soccer Frank Yallop. "His style of play fits in exactly with what we're trying to do at the Fire. He's a hard- working, attack-minded player who is really going to help this team and we're excited to have signed him."
Maloney joins the Fire after three-and-a-half years with Wigan, for whom he played a central role in their Cinderella run to the 2013 FA Cup title. He provided the assist on Ben Watson's 91st-minute game-winning goal to upset Manchester City in the final and earn the Latics their first major trophy.
Across all competitions, Maloney appeared in 91 matches, scoring 15 goals and adding 17 assists for the Latics. This season, he's made 22 total appearances and scored two goals.
"I'm very happy to be joining the Fire," said Maloney. "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. It's a brilliant league and I'm really hopeful that I'm going to enjoy Chicago and be a big part of what the club is building. I'd also like to show respect for my previous club and thank the owner and manager over at Wigan for letting this happen."
Internationally, Maloney has been a mainstay for the Scottish national team since making his debut in 2005. He has earned 36 caps and scored four times for his country. He has played an integral part in Scotland's Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, starting all four matches, notching a vital match-winning goal in their 1-0 win over Ireland in November, and scoring in the away draw against Poland in October.