Sporting Kansas City sign versatile La Liga veteran Antonio Dovale
Sporting Kansas City announced on Tuesday that they have signed Spanish midfielder Antonio Dovale, further bolstering their midfield depth for the busy campaign ahead.
Dovale will occupy the club's fifth of eight available international roster spots and will be added to the team's 2014 roster upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
Widely known by his nickname, “Toni,” Dovale rose through the youth system at Ural CF in in his hometown of La Coruña, Spain. He then played four years in the FC Barcelona academy alongside future stars like Jonathan dos Santos, Thiago Alcântara and Bojan Krkic before returning to his home region of Galicia to join Celta de Vigo, where he made his professional debut in 2009 when the club was in the Spanish second division.
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Dovale made 30 appearances and scored two goals for Os Celestes as they earned promotion to La Liga in 2011-12, then helped the club maintain their top-flight standing over the following two seasons.
"We are happy to be able to add a player of his quality to our roster," Sporting 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."
Originally a midfielder, Dovale was converted to left back while at Celta and figures to be a versatile component in Vermes' 4-3-3 formation. Dovale joins compatriot Uri Rosell on the Kansas City roster and is the fifth Spanish player to sign with Major League Soccer this offseason.
"I am very excited to be in Kansas City," said the 23-year-old. "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."