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Union announce signing of 21-year-old Venezuelan midfielder Jesús Bueno

The announcement comes after a week of rumors and speculation around Bueno

The Philadelphia Union officially announced the signing of midfielder Jesús Bueno from Venezuelan club Deportivo Lara on Thursday.

Bueno has been signed to a two-and-a-half-year contract with a club option for a third and a fourth year. While the team did not name a price for Bueno’s transfer, Transfermarkt has listed Bueno’s value at $330,000. Bueno will be added to the roster after he receives his International Transfer Certificate and P1 Visa.

Bueno, just 21, was the captain of his Venezuelan side, who he’s played for since he was 18. With Deportivo Lara, Bueno played 76 matches and accumulated over 5,600 minutes.

Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner cited Bueno’s time as a captain for Lara as part of the club's attraction to the young midfielder, saying that “as the captain of his former club he brings natural leadership abilities and the mentality we value” in the team’s press release.

Tanner also cited Bueno’s versatility on the field, saying that his ability to play several positions would allow Bueno to find a fit into the club’s system.

Bueno has also earned a call-up to Venezuela’s U-20 National Team, though he never made an appearance on the field.

With rumors of transfers circulating around Union midfielder Jose Martinez, Bueno could potentially serve as a replacement for his countryman. Bueno has earned himself plenty of spots in the referees’ book, earning 76 yellow cards and three ejections over his career with Lara. Bueno has also notched 10 goals and three assists in his career with Lara, including a brace in May 2021.

While Bueno most likely won’t crack the starting XI in his first few weeks, he may start to see minutes as Union players, most notably Martinez, depart for international duty and World Cup qualifiers.