Hours after Sporting Kansas City learned it probably will be without midfielder Roger Espinoza for the remainder of the regular season, the club made its new midfield acquisition official.
Sporting KC announced Thursday it has signed 21-year-old Spanish midfielder Jordi Quintilla, who will occupy an international roster spot.
Coach Peter Vermes, who told The Star on Tuesday that the deal was nearly completed, classified Quintilla as more of a long-term project than a short-term fix.
Quintilla briefly trained with the club earlier this summer.
“It’s really going to be about where his fitness is when he comes back,” Vermes said Tuesday. “We’ve been told he’s training and working out, but I’ll believe that when I see him and get to evaluate him myself.”
Although he’s unlikely to provide a quick replacement for Espinoza — who will miss at least 10 weeks with a fractured bone in his foot — Quintilla does occupy the same position in the center of the midfield. He is a Barcelona academy product (La Masia academy), where he trained with former Sporting KC midfielder Uri Rosell.
He played for French club AC Ajaccio in the 2014-15 season.
“During my prior training stint with (Sporting KC), I felt extremely comfortable with the players and the coaching staff,” Quintilla said in a news release.