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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Chicago Fire sign Belgian Hugo Cuypers in club-record transfer

The Chicago Fire have acquired striker Hugo Cuypers for a club-record fee reported at $12 million.

Cuypers, 26, arrives as a designated player from KAA Gent, a top-flight club in his native Belgium.

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As part of the deal announced Tuesday, Cuypers agreed to a contract through 2026 with an option for 2027.

“We’re thrilled to officially welcome Hugo Cuypers to the Club,” Fire sporting director Georg Heitz said. “We have been very focused on acquiring a striker in the prime of their career with a proven track record of scoring goals in a very competitive league.

“Hugo has been one of the leading goal-scorers in the Belgian first division over the last few seasons, and despite receiving interest from other teams, he had a very strong desire to join the Fire and help us achieve our goal of becoming one of the top clubs in MLS.”

Cuypers delivered 64 goals and 25 assists in 126 matches across the past three seasons in Belgium’s Jupiler Pro League with KV Mechelen (2021-22) and K.A.A. Gent (2022-24).

He won the league’s Golden Boot with 34 goals in 2022-23, and has tallied 17 goals and six assists in 34 matches across all competitions in 2023-24.

Cuypers made his pro debut with Belgium’s Standard Liege in 2016 and won a league title with Greece’s Olympiacos in 2020-21.

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