Orlando City SC’s back-line just acquired the piece it was looking for. On Tuesday, the club announced the signing of United States men’s national team defender Jonathan Spector.
In the 2016-17 season, the 30-year-old played in 23 matches for English Football League Championship side Birmingham City. Spector also previously played in seven games for Manchester United .
“We are thrilled to add a player of Jonathan’s pedigree to our roster,” City general manager Niki Budalic said, per the release. “It’s no secret we have been looking for another defender. He is a technical and gifted defender that can play anywhere in the back-line and possesses valuable experience in England’s top tiers and the U.S. national team.”
In his club-play career, Spector has played in 101 English Premier League matches and 153 in the Championship. As for international play, he has recorded 36 caps for the USMNT since 2004.
City head coach Jason Kreis hinted at the possible acquisition of Spector after the team’s first official preseason training session on Monday.
“[Finding a center-back] was really our main objective going into the offseason,” Kreis said Monday. “We feel we’ve done it in the left-back position, we’ve addressed that. We think we have some young very, very exciting potential, strong defenders. We’ve decided that our right-back situation we actually quite like. So we’re still missing one central defender, and everybody should stay tuned.”
Fortunately for the Lions, Spector is a versatile player. He has the ability to play center-back, full-back and even defensive midfielder.
The Lions will open their season on Sunday, March 5 at 5 p.m. against New York City FC in the team’s new soccer-specific stadium in downtown Orlando.