New York City FC add MLS experience with signing of veteran goalkeeper Josh Saunders

Josh Saunders

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of Real Salt Lake

New York City FC announced the signing of veteran goalkeeper Josh Saunders on Thursday, securing another dose of MLS experience ahead of the club's 2015 expansion debut.

Saunders will join NYCFC sister club Manchester City for the first stage of their preseason tour in Scotland this week before joining the NASL's San Antonio Scorpions on loan until the end of the current season.

The 33-year-old Oregon native worked under NYCFC coach Jason Kreis as Nick Rimando's backup with Real Salt Lake last season before suffering a serious ACL injury.

“Having had the opportunity to work with and coach Josh previously in our careers at Real Salt Lake, I know what a valuable asset he’ll be to our club,” said Kreis in a statement. “He is a proven player and champion in his position, having played on a number of winning teams in MLS.”

An American-born Puerto Rican international, Saunders boasts a decade of professional experience, most of it spent with the LA Galaxy and USL clubs in Puerto Rico, Portland and Miami. He earned LA's starting job during their 2011 MLS Cup championship campaign, allowing just 17 goals in 19 regular-season appearances, and was also in goal when the Galaxy repeated as MLS Cup champions in 2012.

His career postseason goals-against-average of 0.75 ranks second in MLS history among goalkeepers with at least five games played and includes 234 minutes with just one goal allowed in three MLS Cup finals.

“Getting an opportunity to join New York City FC and be part of what is being built for the fans in this city was something I could not turn down,” said Saunders.  “The chance to also rejoin Coach Kreis was also very exciting.  This is a pivotal moment in my career, and I’m ready to get to work for the club.”

NYCFC open their inaugural MLS campaign at Yankee Stadium in March.