By TATE STEINLAGE
Sporting Kansas City have locked in another former Barcelona youth product, announcing the signing of spanish midfielder Antonio ‘Toni’ Rodriguez Dovale Tuesday.
Dovale joins midfielder Oriol Rosell as players on Sporting KC’s roster who developed in part in Barcelona’s youth system.
“We are happy to be able to add a player of his quality to our roster,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said in a statement. “He can play multiple positions within our system and we hope that we can help him to adapt to our team and to Major League Soccer as quickly as possible.”
Dovale, 23, spent the last eight years within the Celta de Vigo system, including six years with the main squad in which he scored four goals in 67 appearances. In 2011, the midfielder went on a year-long loan to SD Huesca in Spain, but returned to Celta prior to the 2011-12 season where he helping the club earn promotion to LigaBBVA.
The Spaniard was converted to left back at Celta in 2013 after years at the midfield position. Dovale will occupy Sporting KC’s fifth of eight available international roster spots upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
“I am very excited to be in Kansas City,” Dovale said. “Sporting KC is a very ambitious and successful club and I look forward to helping them achieve their goals. My motivation is high to come here and improve as a player and help this club any way possible.”
Sporting KC was linked to Dovale late last week after Sporting Club chief executive officer Robb Heineman teased about a possible deal within Spain. The rumor mill picked up significant Monday, though, when Spanish media reported Dovale was in Kansas City, ready to sign with the team.
Sporting KC return to action Wednesday at home against Cruz Azul in leg one of the knockout round of the CONCACAF Champions League.
What do you think of Sporting KC signing Dovale? See him fitting in as well as Rosell? Think the club, in terms of MLS teams, has found an untapped market?
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