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Sporting Kansas City sign Croatian defender Roberto Puncec

The 28-year-old centerback signed a two-year contract with a one-year option

Mar 24, 2018; Commerce City, CO, USA; Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes following the match tie against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

Sporting Kansas City has signed Croatian defender Roberto Puncec to a two-year contract with a one-year option, the club announced today.

The 28-year-old will occupy an international spot on Sporting’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and his P1 Visa.

The 6-foot-1 centerback spent the last three years at Croatian side HNK Rijeka where he made 58 appearances and helped the team win the Croatian Cup this spring. Prior to that he had a five-year stint at Union Berlin, including a one year on loan at the German association club.

He came up through the Varazdin academy and signed his first senior team contract in 2008 at age 16. Puncec became a regular starter in 2009 and helped his hometown club secure a spot in 2011-12 UEFA Europa League qualifying before spending two seasons at Maccabi Tel Aviv.

In all, Puncec has appeared in nearly 300 games across a 12-year professional career.

“Roberto has significant experience playing in Europe over the last several years,” Sporting Kansas City manager and sporting director Peter Vermes said in a statement. “He is very excited to be here and we look forward to him integrating into our club and our city.”

Puncec represented Croatia internationally on every youth level from U-14 to U-21, though never featured for the senior team.




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