Sporting Kansas City has signed Haitian Men’s National Team midfielder James Marcelin, the club announced on Tuesday. Marcelin has been added to the team’s roster for the 2015 season and will occupy an international roster spot.
"I am very excited to be back in MLS and playing for Kansas City," Marcelin said. "I know the team well and have a lot of friends that have played there. They won the championship in 2013 and I'm looking forward to helping them win another. Sporting KC is one of the great teams in MLS and I can't wait to get started with them."
Marcelin made 39 appearances in Major League Soccer over two seasons split between the Portland Timbers (2011-2012) and FC Dallas (2012). He most recently was a member of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the North American Soccer League, making 15 appearances (including postseason) since signing in July and starting in the league final, Soccer Bowl 2014, last month.
The 28-year-old Marcelin has represented Haiti in numerous international competitions during his professional career, including Olympic (2008) and World Cup (2010, 2014) qualifying. At age 21, he was the youngest player on Haiti’s roster at the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and started their opening match.
Two years later, Marcelin played the full 90 minutes in all four of Haiti’s matches at the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, scoring against Grenada (video) and helping Haiti reach the quarterfinals with a 2-2 draw against the United States. In 2011, Marcelin scored the opening goal in Haiti’s qualifying campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and added another goal during CONCACAF’s second round of qualification.
His club career began as a teenager in his native Haiti with Roulado and Racing Club Haïtien before joining the Puerto Rico Islanders of the USL First Division for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. The Islanders finished atop the league standings to win the Commissioner’s Cup in 2008 and reached the semifinals of the 2008-09 CONCACAF Champions League with Marcelin making 16 CCL appearances while with Puerto Rico.
In 2010, Marcelin joined the Portland Timbers and played in 29 games across all competition. He scored in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (video) and D-2 Pro League Playoffs (video), earning a contract for the club’s inaugural season in MLS the following year.