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17-year-old goalkeeper dominates MLS

If the Chicago Fire find themselves in a good position in the standings of the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer (MLS) this season, it is because of only one man, or rather, only one teenager. At 17, Gabriel “Gaga” Slonina is already doing great things in goal.

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The exceptional talent of the American has never been in doubt. He signed his first MLS contract at just 14 years old on March 8, 2019. He then became the second-youngest player to sign an agreement in league history.

Slonina came on in the second half of the 2021 campaign and caused a stir by posting four shutouts in his first 10 starts. He’s done even better this year, keeping the Fire clean sheet five times in seven games. During this streak, he allowed only two small goals, while making 15 saves.

17-year-old goalkeeper dominates MLS

His five shutouts are a Garber league high, tied with Orlando City SC goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.

After seven games, the Fire have only hit the target five times, which is the worst performance in the league. However, thanks to the exploits of Slonina, they are seventh in the East, just behind CF Montreal.

The Chicago club therefore made an easy decision by exercising the option for the 2023 season in the young prodigy’s contract on Tuesday. But how long will the teenager remain a member of the Fire?

Slonina’s incredible record could be of interest to European teams and he has already started to gain international prominence when he was called up by the United States national team in December and January.