The delay in new striker Mikael Uhre getting his visa sorted out so he can officially join his new team feels familiar since he’s not the first player in recent years to not be available shortly after signing with the team.
It’s been two weeks since the signing of the striker from Denmark for a reported fee of $2.8 million was announced (January 27). The announcement date doesn’t necessarily mean the date the contract was finalized or when international paperwork was started but it’s a frame of reference when considering length of time.
Head coach Jim Curtin said Wednesday that the paperwork has all been submitted for what is known as a P-1 visa and the team is just in a holding pattern waiting for it to be finalized.
Depending on when the process is begun, P-1 visas — a category of visa specifically for athletes and entertainers — can take as long as three to six months but with premium processing can be completed within 15 days, according to the website VisaGuide.
Though it may seem otherwise, the process has gone relatively smoothly for most international signings in recent years.
Here’s a look at all of the international signings since dating back to the 2018-19 offseason.
The Brazilian’s signing was announced on December 14, 2018. He was available to train when camp opened in January.
The German left back’s signing was announced on February 6, 2019 and he appeared in a preseason game that day.
The Mexico international’s signing as announced on February 8, 2019 and he was training with the team within a day or two.
His acquisition via loan from FC Metz was announced on March 5, 2019 and he was training with the team the following day and making his debut off the bench on March 30.
The Venezuelan midfielder’s signing was announced December 31, 2019. He was with the team and available to train when camp opened in January.
The Slovakian midfielder’s signing was announced on the first day of training camp on January 20, 2020 and he was interviewed by media after training with the team that day.
The Norwegian center back’s signing was announced on January 31, 2020 and photos of him training with the team were posted the same day. Glesnes also recently received his green card just about two years to the day of his arrival.
The Scottish center back’s signing as announced on February 25, 2021 and it took about a month for him to finalize his visa in a process that involved him getting stuck for 10 days in a hotel in Warsaw, Poland. Findlay was also injured when he arrived so he was delayed training with the team even after the visa was finalized.
The Hungarian international had a 12-day period between the announcement of his signing on May 11, 2021 and his debut on May 23, 2021. He left to rejoin his national team ahead of the European Championship but picked up an injury in training before the competition started and didn’t return to the field for the Union until late June.
The Venezuelan midfielder’s signing was announced on July 29, 2021 but he wasn’t able to join the team until September 7, nearly six weeks later.
The loan acquisition of Davo was announced on August 11, 2021 and he dressed for the first time in a match 10 days later.
The signing of the DP striker from Denmark was announced on January 27, 2022.
All told that’s 12 international player signings — Andrew Wooten and Leon Flach were acquired from Germany but both have U.S. passports — and three that took more than a couple days or weeks. All three have come since the start of the Covid-19 which added a number of additional layers of government restrictions and procedures to navigate.
It’s also something many clubs have faced in recent years.
For every Ercan Kara, who was playing for Orlando City in a preseason game within a week of his signing being announced, there have been players with whom teams have had to play the waiting game.
Chicago Fire center back Rafael Czichos joined his new team last week a month after his signing was announced. Sporting Kansas City signing Marinos Tzionis appears to be in a similar situation as Uhre since the January 24 announcement of his signing.
Last year, Orlando City had to wait a month after announcing the signing of Alexandre Pato for the Brazilian’s visa to be finalized. A similar situation occurred in 2020 with Matheus Aiás.