Earlier this year, the Tulsa Roughnecks FC entered into an affiliation agreement with the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer, and today the two clubs announced that three players will be joining the Roughnecks for the start of the USL regular season. The Fire has said that Joey Calistri, Matej Dekovic and Collin Fernandez are being loaned to Tulsa. All three players saw time for the Roughnecks and Head Coach David Vaudreuil in Saturday’s 3-0 preseason victory over Saint Louis FC.
Calistri signed a Homegrown contract with the Fire on Dec. 17, 2015 after serving as a four-year starter for Northwestern University, where he finished as the No. 2 leading goal-scorer in program history. The Deerfield, Ill. native made his professional debut in the 2016 season opener on March 6 when he entered in the 81st minute. Calistri made 14 appearances in his rookie campaign and scored his first professional goal against the Colorado Rapids on June 18.
A defender hailing from Zagreb, Croatia, Dekovic was selected in the fourth round (69th overall) of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft from the University of North Carolina Charlotte, where he appeared in 57 games for the 49ers over the course of three seasons, scoring five goals and adding eight assists. A Conference USA All-Freshman Team honoree in 2014, Dekovic garnered NSCAA First Team All-Southeast Region, First Team All-Conference USA and NCCSIA First Team All-State accolades in 2016.
Fernandez signed a Homegrown contract on Aug. 28, 2014 and was added to the roster in 2015. A Fire Juniors youth product, Fernandez joined the first Under-14 Academy program at the age of thirteen and has played for the Academy on the U-14, U-16 and U-18 teams. From Downers Grove, Ill., Fernandez has recently taken part in Peruvian U-20 Men’s National Team camps.
On Saturday, Calistri started and featured for 65 minutes for TRFC, Fernandez started before exiting in the 75th minute and Dekovic entered the match in the 78th minute.
Per the Right of Recall incorporated in the two agreements, the Fire retain the right to recall the players at any point during the MLS regular season, subject to MLS roster compliance guidelines.
The Roughnecks will open the 2017 USL regular season this Saturday, March 25, when they host Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at ONEOK Field at 7PM.
Roughnecks add Joey Calistri, Matej Dekovic & Collin Fernandez on loan from the Chicago Fire.