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Philadelphia Union signs Venezuelan defensive midfielder José Andrés Martínez

Union paid undisclosed transfer fee to Zulia FC for 25-year-old

Zulia FC

The Philadelphia Union gave fans an early Christmas present with the announcement Monday morning of the signing of Venezuelan international José “el Brujo” Andrés Martínez.

The Union paid an undisclosed transfer fee to Venezuelan club Zulia FC for the 25-year-old holding midfielder who will possibly fill the role as the No. 6 in the midfield that Haris Medunjanin had locked down over the past three seasons.

“He is an up-and-coming player whose tenacity and athleticism will bolster our midfield going forward,” Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming him to the team and an exciting 2020 season.”

Martínez will be added to the Union’s active roster following receipt of his international transfer certificate and P1 visa. He will occupy an international roster spot.

He scored two goals and had four assists across 65 appearances in 2018 and 2019 in Venezuela. He competed in the 2019 Copa Sudamericana where he helped Zulia reach the quarterfinals, the furthest a Venezuelan team has ever made it in the competition’s history. Additionally, he was on the Zulia FC team that won the 2018 Copa Venezuela.

Within the last year, Martínez has received a Venezuelan National Team call up. Prior to joining Zulia FC in 2018, Martínez played for Deportivo JBL del Zulia, from 2016-17, in his hometown of Maracaibo, Venezuela.