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Fire add Dutch defender Kappelhof

The Chicago Fire announced the signing of Dutch defender Johan Kappelhof on Tuesday, strengthening a back line that tied as MLS' worst in 2015.

The 25-year-old center back has signed a three-year contract after arriving via a transfer from Eredivisie side Groningen, with the Fire using targeted allocation money in the acquisition. Per MLS policy, further details of the agreement were not disclosed.

"We are delighted to add a defender of Johan's quality," Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez said in a news release. "He craves and excels in one-on-one situations, matches well with both physical and fast opponents, and is refined on the ball."

A product of the famed Ajax academy, Kappelhof appeared in 123 Eredivisie matches for Groningen from 2011 to 2015. He also made eight appearances in the Europa League, going the full 90 minutes in each of his club's six group games this past fall.

The Fire finished a league-worst 8-20-6 in 2015, with the club's 58 goals conceded tying New York City FC and Toronto FC for the most in MLS.