Jonathan Spector appears bound for Orlando City.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Spector is set to join Orlando City if his current club, Birmingham City, signs off on an early release. Spector is reportedly in Orlando on Tuesday and could prove an answer at either fullback and centerback for a Lions team that struggled defensively throughout 2016.
(UPDATE: Orlando City confirmed the signing of Spector on Tuesday afternoon. The defender joins as a Discovery signing.
“We are thrilled to add a player of Jonathan’s pedigree to our roster,” CEO Alex Leitão said. “We are very confident Jonathan will fit nicely into our camp and provide veteran leadership in the back.”
“It’s no secret we have been looking for another defender,” General Manager Niki Budalic added. “Jonathan brings the leadership and character we’ve been looking for. His experience will be a valuable asset to build a competitive squad.”)
Spector did not appear in Birmingham City’s match over the weekend, and manager Gianfranco Zola previously stated that the club would let the defender move to the U.S. in January.
Here’s a closer look at some more of Tuesday’s MLS news and notes:
MINNESOTA UNITED ADDS TAYLOR, ANOR
Two more players have joined Minnesota United ahead of the 2017 season.
The club announced on Tuesday that it has signed defender Jermaine Taylor and midfielder Bernardo Anor to MLS deals. Taylor joins the Loons after making 23 appearances for the Portland Timbers last season while Anor rejoins the club after featuring on loan in NASL play.
With the signings, the Loons now have 20 players under contract.
CREW SIGN GHANAIAN MIDFIELDER ABU
The Columbus Crew brought in another Ghanaian on Tuesday.
Midfielder Mohammed Abu signed with the Crew as a Special Discovery Player on Tuesday, moving to MLS after most recently featuring for Norway’s Stromsgodset IF. The midfielder previously played for La Liga’s Rayo Vallecano as well as Ligue 1’s Lorient before making 152 appearances during his time in Norway.
“Mohammed is a talented, technical player that we believe will fit well into our system and style of play,” said head coach Gregg Berhalter. “Across his experience in Norway, France and Spain, we believe that a combination of his experience, skill set and character will be a good fit for Crew SC. We are glad to have him in Columbus and it is certainly an added bonus that he is familiar with the area as his wife has lived in Central Ohio.”
Abu becomes the fourth Ghanaian on the Crew’s roster, joining Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah and Lalas Abubakar.
ZUBAR ANNOUNCES DEPARTURE FROM RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls will be on the hunt for centerback depth following the departure of one of their top defenders.
Ronald Zubar took to Instagram on Tuesday to reveal he will not return to the team for the 2017 season. The club had declined to pick up Zubar’s option previously, but the two sides were in negotiations on a new deal for 2017. However, Zubar says the two sides could not agree on a new contract.
Zubar made 21 appearances — 19 of which were starts — in 2016 while scoring two goals and helping guide the Red Bulls to the postseason.
FC Groningen announced that Danny Hoesen is set to join the San Jose Earthquakes on loan. (REPORT)
Former Montreal Impact midfielder Maxime Tissot and former Maryland defender Suli Dainkeh are reportedly training with D.C. United. (REPORT)
The New York Red Bulls signed goalkeeper Raphael Diaz to an MLS contract. (REPORT)