The New England Revolution’s search for a solution at left back could have an answer, as the club announced the signing of Dutch defender Alexander Buttner on Friday morning. The deal was completed by using Targeted Allocation Money.
Buttner, 30, comes to New England after 12 seasons across top flights in Holland, England, Russia and Belgium. He’s accrued over 275 appearances with 20 goals and 37 assists across all competitions with Vitesse, Manchester United, Dynamo Moscow and Anderlecht.
“Alexander brings experience at the game's most competitive levels, and his skill and pedigree will make him an important asset for the club on and off the field,” Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena said in a team release.
Buttner was most recently with Vitesse from 2017-19, after rejoining the club with which he began his professional career. He helped the Dutch club win their first KNVB Cup in 2017 and was part of Manchester United’s Premier League-winning side in 2012-13. The Dutchman has also featured extensively in Europa League and Champions League competition.
In bringing experience to New England’s left-back position, Buttner could end a revolving door that’s existed since 11-year veteran Chris Tierney retired after the 2018 season. Edgar Castillo and DeJuan Jones largely split time there this past season, while Jalil Anibaba also saw time at the position. Going back to 2018, Gabriel Somi (free agent) and midfielder Kelyn Rowe (now at Real Salt Lake) both filled the position at times.
New England are coming off the club’s first trip to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs since 2015, though fell in Round One to Atlanta United. They’ll be entering their first full season with Arena at the helm, after the former US men's national team coach took over this past May when Brad Friedel was dismissed.