Transfer Tracker

Austin FC sign center back Amro Tarek after Egypt stint



Austin FC have added their second center back of the offseason, announcing Friday they’ve signed Amro Tarek through the 2023 MLS season with an option for 2024.

The 30-year-old was last at Al Masry SC in the Egyptian Premier League, moving overseas in 2021 after two-and-a-half seasons at the New York Red Bulls. He also had loan spells with Columbus Crew in 2016 and Orlando City SC in 2018, contributing to two goals and one assist across 66 MLS regular-season appearances (58 starts).

The versatile defender, who was a free agent, can also play left back.

"I’m excited by the opportunity to play for Austin FC and to help the team toward its goal of winning trophies this season," Tarek said in a release. "Everything I have seen about the club, from the fans and the facilities to the players and the coaching staff, has been first-class, and I can’t wait to get started.

"I'm also very grateful to my former club, and for their understanding of my family situation and why this move made sense for me at this time. I look forward to getting started."

Tarek, a twice-capped Egyptian international, won’t occupy an international roster spot since he was born in the US. He’s made 110 career appearances in Egypt’s top flight, plus spent time in Germany and Spain.

Earlier this offseason, Austin added Finnish international center back Leo Väisänen from Swedish first-division side IF Elfsborg. They lost Ruben Gabrielsen to Norwegian club Lillestrøm SK after his one season in Verde & Black, while incumbent starter Julio Cascante returns as well.

"Amro is an athletic, left-footed center back who adds another option to our talented group of defenders as we prepare to compete in four different competitions during the 2023 season," Austin interim sporting director Sean Rubio said in a release. "We wish him a warm welcome to the club and to the city of Austin."

Austin, a Western Conference finalist in the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs, return to action on Feb. 25 when hosting expansion side St. Louis CITY SC (8:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).