D.C. United announced the signing of Spanish left-back Christian Fernandez Salas this afternoon. The signing most likely brings a close to a whirlwind offseason for the Black-and-Red. Technical Director Dave Kasper had mentioned on several occasions in the past few weeks that the club was looking for a left-back and they found one in the 28-year old Spaniard.
“We are pleased to be adding a left back with solid La Liga experience who is in the prime of his career,” D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper said in a news release. “Christian is very good at getting forward to join the attack and providing quality service. This move helps solidify our back line moving into the new season.”
Christian (as he is being called) is already with the team in Bradenton, Florida and very well may feature for United in their preseason match against the Chicago Fire tomorrow night at 7pm (live stream at www.dcunited.com). The Spaniard comes to United from La Liga side Almeria whom he helped gain promotion into Spain’s top-flight last season. He played in 36 matches during the 2012-2013 season and scored six goals from his attacking defensive position.
Christian began his career with Racing Santander in the youth academy and eventually made 80 appearances for the senior side in over 5 seasons before making the move to Almeria ahead of the 12-13′ season. Christian became available after falling out of favor with Almeria this winter and was supposedly acquired on a free transfer. With this move, United has completely rebuilt their starting defense with the additional acquisitions of Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell (both in Stage 1 of Re-Entry Drafts), Jeff Parke (trade) and #2 overall pick in this past MLS SuperDraft, Steve Birnbaum.
United will wrap up training in Florida over the weekend and will return to Washington, D.C. for a week of training before heading to Charleston, South Carolina for their participation in the Charleston Challenge Cup starting on Saturday, February 22nd. After three matches in seven days in the Low C0untry, United will return to D.C. for their final week of training ahead of their season-opening match at home against the Columbus Crew on Saturday, March 8th at 7pm.