Sporting Kansas City announced Thursday that the club has signed midfielder Oriol Rosell to a multi-year agreement. The 20-year-old Spaniard joins the team as a discovery signing after spending six years at FC Barcelona, rising through the club’s famed La Masia academy and most recently playing professionally for Barcelona B in Spain’s second division.
Rosell will fulfill an international roster spot and has been added to the team’s roster. Per club policy, additional terms of the agreement will not be disclosed.
“Oriol comes from arguably the best soccer school and environment a player can be a part of in Barcelona,” said Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes, who played in the Spanish second division for UE Figueres (1991-1995) with current FC Barcelona Manager Tito Vilanova. “Adding him as another midfielder will help raise the bar on a daily basis within our roster and add a lot depth in the middle for us.”
“I’m very happy to be here and I’m eager to start working with the team,” Rosell said. “With my hard work, I hope to help the club achieve the objectives that we are focused on. I am very impressed by the support and I want to make the fans happy with my game.”
Signed at age 12 by Spanish giants Real Madrid, Rosell would go on to play as a youth for RCD Espanyol before being invited to attend Barcelona’s elite academy in 2006. He was a member of the Barcelona youth team that won the prestigious 2007 Nike Premier Cup, defeating Brazilian side Sao Paulo 1-0 at Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium.
Rosell continued to find success as he moved through the ranks at La Masia and was a key contributor in Òscar Garcia’s Juvenil A team that completed a historic season in 2011 by securing the top three honors available at their level: Division de Honor Juvenil, la Copa de Campeones de Juvenil and the Copa del Rey Juvenil.
At the under-19 level, he also appeared for Barcelona in a 4-1 win over Manchester City at the 2011-12 NextGen Series last November and helped his club win their group in the 16-team European tournament.
He has regularly trained with the Barcelona first team at Camp Nou and traveled with the senior squad during their 2011 pre-season, coming off a UEFA Champions League triumph over Manchester United and 21st La Liga title. He featured in Barcelona’s friendly against Croatian club Hajduk Split and was included on the 27-player roster for their United States tour alongside the likes of David Villa, Xavi and Andres Iniesta. He also appeared for the full team at the 2011 Audi Cup en route to Barcelona being crowned tournament champions with a victory over Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena.
Rosell would become one of eight players selected from within the academy to join Barcelona B in the Liga Adelante, Spain’s second division. He made his professional debut in January, the first of six appearances under Manager Eusebio Sacristán, as he accrued 246 minutes played throughout the second half of the team’s 2011-12 season.
Rosell will join the club on Friday for training at 9 a.m. CT at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. Media are encouraged to attend for photo, video and interview opportunities at the conclusion of the session.
TRANSACTION - Sporting Kansas City (MLS) signs midfielder Oriol Rosell
Oriol Rosell (ew-REE-all rohz-EL)
Birthplace: Puig-Reig, Catalonia, Spain
Hometown: Puig-Reig, Catalonia, Spain
Last Club: Barcelona B (Liga Adelante)