The Philadlephia Union have got their man.
After a feeling-out process of almost a week, the Union announced Wednesday the signing of Bundesliga veteran and Swiss international Tranquillo Barnetta on a free transfer using Targeted Allocation Money.
Barnetta has been training with the Union since last Thursday and travelled with the team to Washington, D.C. this past weekend. He went back to his home country on Tuesday night to sort out his visa situation.
The 30-year-old played for Schalke 04 during the 2014-15 season and made 22 appearances while scoring three goals and adding five assists. While at Schalke, he played for three seasons and made 60 total appearances in all competitions. Prior to joining the club, Barnetta played for fellow German Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, where he signed when he was just 19 years old. There, Barnetta made 229 appearances and scored 26 goals with 51 assists in seven seasons. He’s also had loan spells at Hannover 96 and Eintracht Frankfurt throughout his career.
Union head coach Jim Curtin discussed the possibility of adding Barnetta in his press conference on Wednesday, prior to the announcement.
"Tranquillo had a very positive time here. ... I’m confident in how things went with him - how he fit in with the group, how he trained with the group. He was very receptive to the ideas Chris [Albright, Union technical director] and I put forward for the plan for the future moving forward. All positive."
Internationally, Barnetta has made 75 appearances for the Swiss national team, most recently on Oct. 14, 2014 in an European Cup qualifier against San Marino. He’s been a member on each of Switzerland’s last three World Cup teams, including playing key roles in 2006 and 2010. In Germany in 2006, Barnetta started and played the full 90 in all four of Switzerland’s games and scored a goal in a 2-0 win over Togo in group play. There, he helped lead the Swiss into the knockout round of a FIFA World Cup for the first time in 12 years and for just the second time since 1938.