With only a few days before its first game of the new season, D.C. United added an experienced veteran to its back line today. Joining the club is former Bolivian national team defender Juan Manuel Peña. The 37 year-old center back is a veteran of 14 seasons in Spain’s La Liga and represented Bolivia in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. He becomes the second Bolivian on the team alongside his countryman Jaime Moreno. Peña will be available to play once he gets P-1 work visa and will be classified as a Senior International on United’s roster.
“We are pleased to be adding a player with a vast amount of experience in La Liga and with the Bolivian national team,” said United GM Dave Kasper in a press release. “Juan will provide our team with a tremendous amount of leadership and experience. We look forward to his contributions to our club.”
Peña started his career in 1990 at Club Blooming in his hometown city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where he once played with Moreno. At the end of the 1993 season Peña moved to Independiente Santa Fe in Colombia. In 1995 he made a big move and signed with Spanish club Real Valladolid, where he played for nine seasons and totaled 249 appearances for the Castilian club. Real Valladolid was relegated in 2004 and Peña moved to Villareal where he spent three seasons and played in 56 games.
His last club was Celta de Vigo in the Spanish second division. At Celta de Vigo he made 33 appearances before ending his Spanish career last season.
His international experience is vast, having played 85 games for Bolivia and becoming the fifth most capped player in Bolivian history. He played in one game for Bolivia in the 1994 World Cup in the USA, a 3-1 loss to Spain.
He will wear the #3 jersey.
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