New York Red Bulls sign former Barcelona B captain Armando Lozano to bolster backline
The New York Red Bulls have had a quiet offseason, tying for the league low with only one acquisition – winger Bobby Convey – in the wake of their 2013 Supporters' Shield title. However, having jettisoned four defenders, it was clear it was only a matter of time, and the club added at least one more piece to its puzzle on Thursday with the addition of defender Armando Lozano, known simply as Armando, a 29-year-old Spanish center back.
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Arriving on a free transfer, the 6-foot-1 Armando most recently played with Córdoba, where he had scored once in eight games (seven starts) in the 2013-14 Spanish second-division season. He played in 19 games for Córdoba in the second half of last season, when the club finished 14th.
His other recent experience includes time spent with Mexican Liga Ascenso club Veracruz during the 2012 Apertura season and three years with Barcelona's reserve team, which also plays in the Spanish second division.
“Armando provides us with another experienced option at center back, and we are delighted to have agreed to terms with him,” Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh said in a club statement. “He has played at a good level for many years, serving as the captain for Barcelona’s B team in the past, and we are excited to bring his leadership and technical qualities to our club.”
Prior to playing with Barcelona, Armando had played with hometown club Motril, Málaga, Levante and Cartegena in Spain, making 25 appearances for the Málaga first team in 2006-07 and helping Cartagena earn promotion to the second division in 2008-09.
He joins a Red Bulls team that boasts two-time MLS Best XI selection Jamison Olave as its anchor, and Armando will likely compete with Ibrahim Sekagya for the other starting spot at center back. The team's other center back, Homegrown player and US U-20 international Matt Miazga, made his MLS debut last fall and has been praised by head coach Mike Petke.