Sporting Kansas City have added a new piece in the summer transfer window, announcing on Thursday the signing of Spanish midfielder Cristian Lobato. The 28-year-old is being added via transfer from Spanish club Gimnastic de Tarragona, and is signed to an MLS deal through the 2018 season with an option for 2019.
Lobato will be eligible to play for Sporting after the club receives his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa and the MLS transfer window opens on July 10.
"We're extremely excited to be able to add Cristian to the roster," Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said in a statement. "He is a versatile player who can play multiple positions in the midfield and across the front three. We weren't sure if we would be able to add Cristian in this coming window, but our player personnel department did a fantastic job to solidify this acquisition. We look forward to seeing Cristian join our squad and help us pursue our goals this season."
Lobato is a FC Barcelona academy product, and began his professional career at nearby club Hospitalet in 2008. After three years, he returned to the Barcelona set-up, featuring for Barcelona B from 2011-13. While at Barcelona B, Lobato was teammates with Sporting midfielder Ilie.
After leaving the club, he joined Osasuna in 2014, playing for the then-La Liga side for six months. Then, he briefly moved to Greece to play for Asteras Tripoli, before joining Gimnastic in late 2015. This past season, he helped the team nearly qualify for La Liga promotion, as they finished in third place in the Segunda Division.
In addition, Sporting Kansas City waived defender Igor Juliao. The 22-year-old right back started one match for Sporting KC this season while on loan from Brazilian club Fluminense, his second stint in Kansas City.