New Colorado Rapids midfielder Jose Mari
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Colorado Rapids fill hole left by Hendry Thomas with signing of Spanish midfielder José Mari

The Colorado Rapids have their replacement for Hendry Thomas.

José Mari, a 26-year-old defensive midfielder with eight years of experience in Spain, has signed with the Rapids, the club announced Tuesday. He'll be eligible pending receipt of his P-1 work visa and international transfer certificate.

Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“José Mari is a talented player with a deep understanding of the game and a lot of technical ability,” Rapids technical director Paul Bravo said in a release. “We’ve had a chance to see him in action throughout preseason and believe he is a good fit for our squad, bringing a great deal of experience and skill. We’re thrilled to officially welcome him to the team.”

The midfielder comes to MLS having played his entire professional career in Spain, most recently with Real Zaragoza from 2012-14. He played 16 matches for Zaragoza in La Liga in 2012-13, and continued to play with the club in the 2013-14 season in the Segunda División. He began his professional career with his hometown club Union Deportiva Roteña in 2005, and then spent time with Atlético Sanluqueño CF of the third division, Real Murcia and Real Jaén of the Segunda.

“It is special for me to be a part of the Colorado Rapids,” José Mari said in a statement. “This is an important club, and I’m happy to be a part of this wonderful group. I hope we can accomplish great things, both individually and collectively, and I will be giving everything to help the team be as successful as possible.”

He originally joined up the Rapids in preseason when the team arrived in Las Vegas for the ProSoccerChallenge. He played in all four of Colorado’s matches at the recent Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, Ariz., including 68 minutes in a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake, and 72 minutes in the final match of the tournament, a 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution.

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