D.C. United and Houston each signed a player to their respectiverosters on Thursday, roughly 48 hours before the teams open the season onSaturday afternoon.
D.C. United added what could be a vital cog to their defensestable with former Bolivian international defender Juan Manuel Peña. The 37year-old is a veteran of 14 seasons in Spain’s La Liga and suited up for Boliviaduring the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Though he won’t be available for Saturday’sopener at Kansas City, he will be available for selection upon receiving hisP-1 work visa and will be classified as a Senior International on United’sroster.
Peña spent three years with La Liga side Villareal from2004-07, and anchored Villareal’s backline through asuccessful run in the 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup. He appeared in 56 matches forthe club.
He also earned 85 caps at central defender for Bolivia,becoming the fifth most capped player in the team’s history and captaining hisside on numerous occasions. He played in one game for Bolivia in the 1994 WorldCup, a 3-1 loss to Spain and featured in five editions of Copa America, theprestigious bi-annual South American championship tournament.
Houston announced the club has signed midfielder SammyAppiah, a third-round pick from the MLS SuperDraft who will occupy the fourthand final developmental spot on the roster.
Appiah, 25, will be available for the Dynamo’s opener on theroad against FC Dallas . The Ghana native appeared in nine of the Dynamo’s 11preseason games, mostly as a defensive midfielder. He comes to Houston after afour-year career at Boston University in which he totaled 11 goals and 10assists and was named first-team all-America East in 2009.