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D.C. United complete transfer of Mateusz Klich from Leeds United

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D.C. United have completed the transfer of Polish midfielder Mateusz Klich from Leeds United, the club announced Thursday.

Klich arrives as a Designated Player (DP) on a two-year contract through the 2024 MLS season with a club option on 2025. As reported by 90min, the 32-year-old had previously received interest from a number of clubs from top European leagues, but arrived in Arlington, Virginia, some days ago in order to complete his transfer to D.C.

“Mateusz is a first-rate midfielder who will add top-level experience to our roster,” D.C. United head coach Wayne Rooney said in a club press release. “I’ve been watching him since he helped lead Leeds to promotion to the Premier League and his vision, range of passing, and scoring ability will be a huge asset for us this season.” 

Prior to joining Leeds, Klich enjoyed a career across Europe with the likes of Cracovia in Poland, Wolfsburg and Kaiserslautern in Germany, and PEC Zwolle and FC Twente in the Netherlands.

However, it was at Elland Road that the 32-year-old had his best spell, making 195 appearances across all competitions in a five-and-a-half-year spell that saw him score 24 goals, provide 21 assists, and help Leeds achieve promotion back to the Premier League.

“This offseason was important for us to analyze our roster and see where we can make improvements after a disappointing 2022 season,” D.C. United president of soccer operations Dave Kasper said. “Bringing in a top-class designated player was atop our priority list and Mateusz has played at the highest levels for both club and country. He will add a ton of experience in the midfield and will be an impact player for us this season and beyond. We’re excited to welcome him to the Nation’s Capital.” 

Klich made 16 appearances for the Whites this season, and his departure clearly hasn’t sat well with head coach Jesse Marsch, who was very public in his desire to keep the midfielder.

“It won’t be easy to lose him and if we were to say that between he and I, we are not absolutely sure it’s the right decision, but I certainly wish the best for him,“ the American head coach said recently.

Klich is the most high-profile addition so far this winter for D.C. United, who are looking to improve under Rooney after finishing bottom of the overall standings in 2022. The Black and Red begin their 2023 campaign at home to Toronto FC on February 25.

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