New York Red Bulls sign Panamanian defender Fidel Escobar on loan

Fidel Escobar - Panama - during the 2017 Gold Cup - New York Red Bulls

It got a little lost in the shuffle of the coaching moves rocking the MLS world, but the New York Red Bulls made a significant addition to their backline on Thursday, when they announced the signing of center back Fidel Escobar on an 18-month loan from Panamanian club Sporting San Miguelito.

Escobar, 22, joins the Red Bulls after starting two of Panama’s matches at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, including their quarterfinal loss to Costa Rica last Wednesday.

“We are pleased to add Fidel to our roster,” Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett said in a statement released by the club. “We’ve had our eye on him for a while, and had the opportunity to watch him play in the Gold Cup. He is a young player that has a lot of qualities we like in a center back.”

A former teammate of current Red Bull defender Michael Amir Murillo at San Francisco FC, Escobar spent the 2016-17 season on loan to Portuguese side Sporting CP’s reserve side, Sporting B. He made 14 appearances and 12 starts for Sporting B last year. 

The Red Bulls will return to action on Saturday, when they'll host the Montreal Impact at Red Bull Arena (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE in the US, TVA Sports in Canada).