The MetroStars search for a defensive midfield replacement for Michael Bradley has come to an end with the signing of Canadian international Adrian Serioux and French teenager Elie Ikangu. The two have come to contract terms with the MetroStars and an official announcement is pending visa approval.
Terms of the contracts were not disclosed but Serioux will be fill the fourth and final senior international slot on the Metros roster while Ikangu would fill the second of five junior international slots. They will provide cover in the midfield now that Bradley is with Heerenveen of the Dutch Eredivisie.
Serioux, 26, most recently played for Millwall of the English Championship (second tier) but returned home for personal reasons. He has made eight appearances for Canada and his most recent cap came in a scoreless draw against the U.S. on Jan. 22.
Serioux is currently with the Canadian national team, which is preparing for an international friendly against Austria in Vienna on Wednesday. He is not expected to play, having suffered a broken toe in training last week.
"I wouldn't say really good," Metros coach Mo Johnston said when asked about Serioux's preseason thus far. "I'd say he did enough to make us sign him. With his height and experience, it helps us in that midfield area. He's strong, is passing more to Amado [Guevara] and Youri [Djorkaeff] and will sit in that pocket and get tackles in. That's what we want from Adrian."
Ikangu, 19, has played with Newcastle's Charles N'Zogbia at French side Le Havre and was compared to Chelsea's Claude Makelele by Johnston after the club's foreigner tryout camp at the Giants Stadium practice bubble in January.
But Ikangu is not quite as strong as Makelele and that's the reason he didn't stick with English Second Division side Darlington or English Premiership side Middlesbrough, where he was on trial in January.
Johnston said signing Serioux gives him flexibility when it comes to the type of formation to use.
"It's very important because I now have a situation, if we add these two or three players, which we're very close in getting, then I can play 4-3-3, 4-4-2, 3-5-2.
"I'm comfortable in every position," Johnston said. "And that's even coming off our bench."
Dylan Butler is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.