By Nan Turner, VCU Athletic Communications Student Assistant
CHICAGO, Ill. – After seven years apart, former Rams Gonzalo Segares and Dominic Oduro are teammates once again – this time as members of Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire.
Ram fans have fond memories of the duo's days in Richmond as Segares (pictured, right) and Oduro helped lead VCU's men's soccer program to its first-ever Elite Eight appearance after an upset of top-seeded Wake Forest in the Third Round of the 2004 NCAA College Cup. Coincidently, it was the last time the Black & Gold qualified for postseason play.
Segares, a defender who graduated in 2004, was a first team All-America selection and was twice named Colonial Athletic Association Defender of the Year, including during his senior campaign alongside Oduro (pictured, left). That same year, Oduro, a two-year member of the Rams from 2004-05, earned CAA Player of the Year honors and third team All-America recognition.
Following his senior season, Segares was a third round pick by Chicago in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft before FC Dallas selected Oduro in the second round the following year. Aside from competing with Cypriot club Apollon Limassol during the first half of 2010, Segares has spent his entire career with the Fire, while Oduro, who played his first three professional seasons in Dallas, had a brief stint in New York before the Houston Dynamo surrendered a first and second round draft pick to acquire the Pramso, Ghana native in 2009.
Segares, the 2007 Chicago Fire Defensive Player of the Year, has not only made a name for himself on the back line, but his eight career goals rank second all-time among Chicago defenders. Oduro, meanwhile, has been impressive on the offensive end this season with four goals and a pair of assists through 14 games, and is one shy of tying his career-best mark of five goals (2008 and 2010). In Chicago's 1-1 draw at New England on Saturday, Oduro, who played all 90 minutes, gave the Fire a 1-0 lead before the Revolution rallied.
Chicago has not won a league championship since its inaugural season in 1998. Here's to hoping the presence of Segares and Oduro will help the Fire reclaim some of the magic from their time in Richmond.
Ram fans can catch duo on national television this weekend. After Chicago faces Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, it will host New York on Sunday, June 26 at 1 p.m. on ESPN.