D.C. United is in the final stages of acquiring Ulises Segura from Costa Rican club Saprissa, General Manager Dave Kasper said Wednesday.
In a tweet, Saprissa bid farewell to the 24-year-old central midfielder, who scored 14 goals in 113 league appearances since August 2015. United paid an undisclosed transfer fee and will sign him to a multiyear contract. United’s connection to the Costa Rican market is Kurt Morsink, a Costa Rican-American agent who played for D.C. and once served as its scouting coordinator.
Julio Cascante y @USeguraCR parten a la MLS, mientras que Anderson Leite regresa a su club en Brasil, del cual estaba a préstamo
¡Les deseamos el mejor de los éxitos en sus futuros retos profesionales! pic.twitter.com/gkV9R7xUDQ
— Deportivo Saprissa (@SaprissaOficial) December 20, 2017
Segura, who has made six appearances for the Costa Rican national team, will become the third player acquired by United this month following trades for New York City FC defender Frederic Brillant and Portland Timbers forward Darren Mattocks. D.C. is likely to claim at least one player in the second stage of the MLS re-entry draft Thursday.
The latest acquisition does not address the club’s most glaring need — experienced striker — but does address the spine of the lineup. United envisions Segura as the box-to-box central midfielder in the formation behind Argentine playmaker Luciano Acosta. Segura played primarily in the middle and some on the right side for Saprissa. He began his career with the San Jose team and spent one year on loan at CS Uruguay de Coronado.
He’ll join a midfield corps that includes central players Acosta, Russell Canouse and Ian Harkes, and wings Zoltan Stieber and Paul Arriola.
On the international level, Segura started once and entered as a sub once during the CONCACAF Gold Cup last summer. His national team debut came last winter at Copa Centroamericana. Most recently, he played 23 minutes against Hungary in a friendly in November. Segura is under consideration for a slot on the World Cup squad in Russia next summer.