Follow us:

Sounders FC

Daily coverage of Seattle Sounders FC, MLS and world soccer.

January 21, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Kansas City signs Deportivo Cali player

Which means that Seattle isn’t the only team doing forays into Colombia looking for top players to play in MLS. And Deportivo Cali, while forging a nice partnership with Sounders FC (i.e., Montero, Hurtado), is looking out for its own interests too.
Here’s who the Wizards signed, in a statement from the team. Nice to see they landed a player from Guadeloupe, that was a good team in the Gold Cup and I wish they could play in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. See more on that below.

The Kansas City Wizards announced Thursday that the club has signed two international players to Major League Soccer contracts. Midfielder Stephane Auvray of the Guadeloupe national team joins the Wizards after playing professionally in France for 10 years. Defender Pablo Escobar of Colombia comes to Kansas City after playing for Colombian powerhouse Deportivo Cali. Per League and team policy, financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed. Pending the finalization of their P-1 Visas, both players will join the Wizards for preseason preparations. Auvray is expected to report to the team next week at the start of training, with Escobar joining in mid-February.
Auvray, 28, was born on the island of Guadeloupe, an off-shore department of France. He left the island at age 14 to join the academy of French club Caen, where he played professionally from 1999-2002. Auvray then joined GSI Pontivy from 2002-2004, before signing with Vannes OC. Auvray played for Vannes from 2004-2009, appearing in 134 league games for the club. Auvray helped lead the Ligue 2 club to the final of the 2009 Coupe de la Ligue, playing the final 16 minutes in a 4-0 loss to Ligue 1 team Bordeaux. Auvray spent the second part of 2009 with Nîmes Olimpique.
Auvray made his debut for the Guadeloupe national team during the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, leading the team to a surprising run to the tournament semifinals. Mexico eliminated Guadeloupe in the semis before falling to the United States in the Gold Cup Final. Auvray, a central midfielder, returned for the 2009 Gold Cup as Guadeloupe’s captain. Guadeloupe again qualified for the quarterfinals, falling to Costa Rica. Auvray scored his first international goal during the 2009 Gold Cup, netting the game-winner in a 2-0 group-stage victory over Nicaragua.
Since Guadeloupe is a department of France, Auvray and other members of the Guadeloupe national team are eligible to compete for France in international competition at any time. French football stars who were born in Guadeloupe or whose parents came from Guadeloupe include: Thierry Henry, Lilian Thuram, Mikael Silvestre, William Gallas, Louis Saha and Sylvain Wiltord.
“We look forward to Stephane joining the team,” Wizards Manager Peter Vermes said. “His experience playing in Europe, being the captain of the Guadalupe National Team and his leadership skills will make him a valuable asset to the Kansas City Wizards.”
Escobar, 22, joins the Wizards from Colombian power Deportivo Cali. Before joining Cali in 2009, Escobar played for rival team Deportivo Quindio in the Colombian first division for three and a half years. Escobar, a central defender, was part of the famed Boca Juniors academy and the America de Cali academy.
“Signing Pablo in the winter transfer window has been a priority for us this off-season,” said Vermes. “He comes to Kansas City with the great opportunity to help solidify our back line.”

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►