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Orlando City SC has signed U.S. national team and former Manchester United defender Jonathan Spector as a Discovery Signing, pending International Transfer Certificate (ITC) approval.
“We are thrilled to add a player of Jonathan’s pedigree to our roster,” Lions General Manager Niki Budalic said. “It’s no secret we have been looking for another defender. He is a technical and gifted defender that can play anywhere in the back line and possesses valuable experience in England’s top tiers and the U.S. national team.”
Spector, 30, joins the Lions from English Football League Championship side Birmingham City, where he made 23 total appearances in 2016-17. After graduating from the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., in 2003, Spector made seven appearances for Manchester United in 2004-05 before going on loan to then-Premier League side Charlton Athletic and West Ham United.
In his career, Spector has made 101 English Premier League appearances and 153 in the Championship, and has featured in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.
The versatile player, who can play as a center back, full back and defensive midfielder, has earned 36 caps for the United States national team since making his senior debut in 2004. The Arlington Heights, Illinois, native played 72 minutes in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final 2-1 victory over Mexico. Spector played every minute of the United States’ 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup final run, and earned the assist that sent the United States through to the semifinal. Spector also played a large role for the U.S. in its 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and was included on the 23-man squad in South Africa. Most recently, Spector made a substitute appearance against Costa Rica in October 2015.