Sporting Kansas City signed center back Andreu Fontas, a 10-year professional with more than 200 appearances in his native Spain, on Aug. 8, 2018.
Fontas spent five seasons from 2013-2018 with Celta Vigo in Spain’s top-flight La Liga, where he started 100 of 105 league appearances and helped the club to the semifinals of the 2016-17 UEFA Europa League. The defender developed in FC Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy alongside current Sporting midfielder Ilie Sanchez, playing nearly 100 matches combined for FC Barcelona B and FC Barcelona from 2008-2012.
Following a breakout 2021 MLS season, Fontas was named Sporting Kansas City's defensive player of the year. He was nominated for MLS Defender of the Year as well and was widely considered for MLS Best XI. He followed that season up with Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2022 as well.
2022: Earned club Defensive Player of the Year honors for a second-straight season. MLS Regular Season: Started 27 of 28 appearances, scored a career-high two goals and contributed to six clean sheets (2440 minutes played). Scored in back-to-back matches at the tail end of the season. Netted his first at Austin FC on Aug. 13 then scored in the following match against the Portland Timbers on Aug. 21. Open Cup: Started all four of Sporting's Open Cup matches, contributing to two clean sheets in the tournament (384 minutes played).
2021: A breakout year, Fontas was named the club's Defensive Player of the Year. He earned Team of the Week honors once, being named to the MLS Team of the Week after Sporting's 2-0 win over FC Dallas on Aug. 14. Set MLS records for touches (3,071), passes (2,725) and successful passes (2,437). MLS Regular Season: Started 33 matches, assisted on one goal and contributed in eight clean sheets (2970 minutes played). Assisted on Daniel Salloi's second goal against the Colorado Rapids on June 23 in a match that Sporting won 3-1 over their western neighbors. Contributed to a clean sheet at FC Dallas on Aug. 14 in which he posted match-highs in clearances (four), passes (88), passes completed (78) and touches (95). MLS Cup Playoffs: Started two matches (180 minutes played). Made his MLS postseason debut on Nov. 20 in a 3-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the first round. Started and played the full 90 minutes against Real Salt Lake on Nov. 28 in the Western Conference Semifinals.
2020: MLS regular season: Started three matches, scored one goal and contributed to two clean sheets (270 minutes played). Made his season debut at FC Dallas on Oct. 14, taking the field for his first match since August 2019 after recovering from an Achilles injury. Scored his first MLS goal in a 4-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on Oct. 24. MLS is Back Tournament: Did not feature due to injury. MLS Cup Playoffs: Did not feature.
2019: MLS regular season: Started 10 of 13 appearances and contributed to one shutout (964 minutes played). Concacaf Champions League: Started four matches and contributed to two shutouts (326 minutes played). Played the entirety of both shutout wins over Deportivo Toluca FC in the Round of 16. Open Cup: Started and played 90 minutes in a Fourth Round loss to Minnesota.
2018: MLS regular season: Started one of two appearances and contributed to two shutouts (92 minutes played). Made his MLS debut with a 90-minute performance in a 1-0 win over Orlando City SC on Sept. 8, completing 66 of 69 passes in his first Sporting KC match. Open Cup: Did not feature. MLS Cup Playoffs: Did not feature.
Mallorca and Celta Vigo (2012-2018):
Barcelona loaned Fontas to first-division club Mallorca for the 2012-13 season before he signed with Celta Vigo in June 2013. In his first two seasons, Fontas started 70 of 71 matches as the Celticos earned consecutive top-half finishes in La Liga. The center back helped Celta Vigo reach even greater heights in 2016-17 when the team advanced to the semifinals of the UEFA Europa League for the first time and lost to eventual champion Manchester United. Fontas played in eight Europa League matches that season, scoring in a 2-2 group stage draw against Dutch powerhouse Ajax.
Fontas played in 16 competitive matches for Celta Vigo during the 2017-18 season. He joins Sporting KC after totaling 121 appearances for the club in all competitions.
Barcelona B and FC Barcelona (2008-2012):
Born and raised in the Catalonian city of Banyoles, Fontas joined La Masia in 2007 and earned his professional debut for Barcelona B in 2008 as an 18-year-old. He was a backline staple for the reserve team over the next three seasons, transitioning from a holding midfielder to a center back under the guidance of then head coach Luis Enrique, the current manager of the Spain Men’s National Team.
Fontas and Ilie became teammates ahead of the 2009-10 campaign, forging the spine of a Barcelona B side that gained promotion to the Spanish Segunda Division. Both players reprised leading roles as regular starters during the 2010-11 season, with Barcelona B sealing third place in the Segunda Division — tied for the team’s best finish ever.
In addition to scoring twice in 72 games for Barcelona B, Fontas played 16 matches for Barcelona’s senior team between 2009-2012. He debuted for the Spanish giants in August 2009 and made his first start for the club on Nov. 20, 2010, recording an assist in an 8-0 win over UD Almeria. On Dec. 7, 2010, Fontas marked his UEFA Champions League debut with the winning goal in a 2-0 triumph over Russian side Rubin Kazan. The following December, Fontas was a second-half substitute in the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup Final — replacing legendary Spanish defender Carles Puyol — as Barcelona defeated Brazilian outfit Santos 4-0 with two goals from Lionel Messi.
While at Barcelona, Fontas trained with four past and present Sporting KC players. The defender is set to reunite with Ilie and current midfielder Cristian Lobato, having also competed with former Sporting KC midfielders Oriol Rosell and Jordi Quintilla.
On the international stage, Fontas represented Spain at the U-19, U-20 and U-21 levels. He helped the Spain U-20s win the 2009 Mediterranean Games in Italy before appearing in all three group stage victories at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. The following year, he featured in a successful qualifying campaign for the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, a tournament in which Spain were eventually crowned champions.
Fontas then went on to collect four senior caps for the Catalonia Men’s National Team, the official soccer team of the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia. He most recently appeared in Catalonia’s 3-3 draw against Tunisia in December 2016.