D.C. United has confirmed the signing of Deportivo Saprissa and Costa Rica midfielder Ulises Segura. We had previously reported that a deal for the 24 year old was on its way. To complete the deal, United had to trade $50,000 in General Allocation Money to New York City FC, who had made the top MLS discovery claim on Segura.
Dave Kasper, United general manager, described Segura as “a box-to-box midfielder who can also play out wide” in a team release, adding that “his performances with the Ticos and Saprissa, one of the best clubs in CONCACAF, have shown that he is on track towards becoming an elite professional.”
An emerging player for the Costa Rican national team, Segura received his first cap this past January during the Copa Centroamericana. During his time with Saprissa, Segura was a regular on three different championship-winning sides. While he has seen more time as a right winger than anywhere else, Segura has the versatility to play in the middle or on the left, adding depth at as many as four different positions in United’s midfield.
Kasper’s comments indicate that the Black-and-Red will be primarily considering him for the #8 role in central midfield, making him a potential partner for Russell Canouse and competition for Ian Harkes. Signing Segura also appears to decrease the chances of a return for Marcelo Sarvas, though the a preseason invitation for the Brazilian veteran appears to still be a possibility.
Adding Segura brings United’s roster up to 19 players. United has been busy since cutting down to the bone last month, adding forward Darren Mattocks, center back Frederic Brillant, and Segura. On top of that, the club acquired the MLS rights to attacker Gonzalo Veron earlier this afternoon, and it is believed that they are seriously pursuing homegrown prospect Eryk Williamson. Segura will occupy United’s final open international roster spot, joining Luciano Acosta, Brillant, Bruno Miranda, and Zoltan Stieber.