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Chicago Fire announces new signing as things get crowded at Toyota Park

Apr 26, 2012, 7:14 PM EDT

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You have to admire the aggressive player pursuits going on around Toyota Park, where management never seems finished adding to the roster.

The season had already begun when German defender Arne Friedrich was added, and what a stroke of fortune that turned into when Cory Gibbs went out with a serious injury.

Just last week, former midfielder-forward Chris Rolfe signed up for his second Windy City tour. A minor injury setback kept Rolfe off the field last week, but look for him in Frank Klopas’ lineup soon.

And today the Fire announced its newest signing, Brazilian midfielder Alex Monteiro De Lima, who finds his way to MLS on a free transfer from Switzerland’s FC Wohlen.

“Alex” will be an interesting case study as he makes the transition from Switzerland’s second tier. Evan at its highest level, Swiss soccer may not exactly be fast food, so to speak, but it’s sure not a high end steakhouse, either. So, if Alex comes in and tears up MLS, what does that say about the league?

Chances are, however, he’ll just be another man competing for a spot. And there’s the rub. Assignments in the game-day 18 are getting pretty scarce around Toyota Park.

Marco Pappa’s status is the X factor in all this; rumors of summer transfer interest from FC Twente in Holland continue to infest Toyota Park, so a future opening can’t be ruled out.

For the bigger picture, Chicago soccer blogger Tweed Thornton looks at where Alex may fit for the Fire – and who should be getting nervous in the Quaker Oats shirt.

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