Nikos Kounenakis is best known for his time at OFI Crete, which had been part of Greece's top flight.
Courtesy KC Wizards

Wizards officially add Greek defender Kounenakis

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City have gone Greek in search of help to shore up their back line.

The Wizards agreed to terms with 32-year-old Greek defender Nikos “Nick” Kounenakis on Tuesday. He will be added to the roster once he receives his P1 Visa and ITC.

Kounenakis, a 6-foot-1 center back, most recently played for Aris Limassol in Cyprus and spent 12 seasons at OFI Crete in the Greek Super League before moving to Aris last season.

“Nick will bring in a wealth of experience to our team,” manager Peter Vermes said in a statement. “He will be a big help to us during the second half of the season.”

Vermes has spoken lately about the need for more of a veteran presence on the back line and had a chance to evaluate Kounenakis recently while the South Africa-born player trained with the team.

Kounenkis debuted for OFI Crete when he was 17 years old and appeared in 174 games for the side, scoring five goals and playing in the Intertoto Cup and UEFA Cup in the process. He captained the Greek side from 2007-2009 and also spent time at Anderlecht in Belgium and Roda JC in Holland.

Kansas City have fielded five different players at center back alongside Jimmy Conrad through 16 games. The most recent, Shavar Thomas, was acquired from Philadelphia on June 30.

The Wizards have conceded 20 goals in 16 games this season, 19 of those coming after the team started 2-1-1 with only one goal against.