Orr Barouch's four-goal performance against the New York Red Bulls reserve team represents the Chicago Fire's standout accomplishment of the preseason.
Chicago rewarded the 19-year-old forward, as well as midfielder Mike Videira, as the Fire signed the duo on Thursday. Videira is immediately added to the roster, and Barouch will shortly follow upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate.
"Orr and Mike are young, talented players who bring versatility to our lineup and are able to play multiple positions," Fire technical director Frank Klopas said. "Both guys are driven to succeed at this level and will help in the progression of our club."
Barouch had three first-half goals and a late second-half tally on Feb. 23 to lead Chicago to a 4-2 win over New York. On Wednesday, he had a late opportunity to try to equalize the Fire's match against D.C. United at the Carolina Challenge Cup, but his free kick just outside the box was saved by United goalkeeper Joe Willis. It was the only major threat on goal for the Fire as Chicago played much of the match with 10 men following Diego Chaves' first-half red card.
Videira also got some playing time during Wednesday's match, replacing Baggio Husidic in the 69th minute. Videira had a couple of effective moments, including a strong strike in the 74th minute that he pushed over the crossbar.
Barouch, who was born in Haifa, Israel, and grew up in Woodland Hills, Calif., started his career with Tigres UANL's youth system at age 17. Barouch also is a former Chivas USA youth product.
Videira, 25, most recently was playing for USSF Division 2 Pro club AC St. Louis last year. Before that, the Milford, Mass., native and Duke University product was drafted by the New England Revolution in 2008, and Videira eventually made his Revs debut in 2009.
Fire host Open Cup in Peoria: The Fire are heading out west to Bradley University in Peoria when Chicago hosts the Colorado Rapids in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play on Wednesday, March 30. The match takes place at Bradley's Shea Stadium, with kick-off at 6:30 p.m. The Fire look to rebound from last year's Open Cup, when they fell in the third round to the Charleston Battery in a shootout. The Fire and Battery meet up this Saturday in the Carolina Challenge Cup.