TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signed
The D.C. United Argentine pipeline continues with the signing of right back Leonardo Jara on a season-long loan, the club announced Wednesday. The signing is complete pending receipt of his P1 Visa and ITC.
We are thrilled to add a defender of Leonardo's quality and pedigree ahead of the 2019 season," DC GM and VP of soccer operations Dave Kasper said in a statement. "Acquiring an outside back was high on our priority list this offseason. Leonardo has good defensive instincts and also has the range and ability to get forward and add a dimension to our attack. He’s made over 150 appearances in the Argentine Primera Division, and he was the starting right back for Boca Juniors' strong run to the 2018 Copa Liberatadores final."
The 27-year-old addresses a pressing need at right back after veteran Nick DeLeon signed with Toronto FC and with Jamaican international Oniel Fisher out until at least the summer following knee surgery.
Jara has played his entire career in the Argentine first division, first with Estudiantes after coming up through the club’s youth ranks. He made 120 appearances from 2009-15 for the pincharratas, where he was teammates with D.C. United playmaker Luciano Acosta in 2015.
Jara then signed with Boca Juniors in 2016 and made 51 appearances for the powerhouse, starting the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final against rival River Plate before coming off the bench as a substitute in the second leg.
According to Steve Goff of the Washington Post, Jara underwent a physical on Friday before joining the team for a flight to Florida for the start of preseason. He is the second Argentine signed by D.C. United this offseason after the club landed Estudiantes midfielder Lucas Rodriguez last month.