WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 12, 2023) - D.C. United have signed Polish central midfielder Mateusz Klich from Leeds United in the English Premier League. Klich will join the club as a Designated Player (DP) pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC). The Black-and-Red have signed Klich to a two-year contract through 2024 with an option in 2025.
“Mateusz is a first-rate midfielder who will add top-level experience to our roster,” Wayne Rooney, D.C. United Head Coach, said. “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.”
Klich joins the Black-and-Red after spending the previous four seasons with Leeds United in the English Premier League. He was instrumental in helping them secure promotion back to the Premier League in 2020. Klich made his debut for Leeds in the first round of the English League Cup (EFL) on Aug. 9, 2017 in a 4-1 win over Port Vale FC of the English Football League Two, the English fourth division. The midfielder scored his first goal for the West Yorkshire club on Aug. 5, 2018 in a 3-1 win over Stoke City in the first match of the 2018/2019 Championship season, the English second division. Klich ended that season playing in 50 matches for Leeds United, scoring 10 goals and recording nine assists. The following season, Klich played in 47 matches for Leeds United, recording seven goals and five assists on the way to becoming champions of the English Championship to earn promotion to the Premier League. During his time with Leeds United, the Polish midfielder scored 24 goals and recorded 21 assists in 195 matches across all competitions.
“This offseason was important for us to analyze our roster and see where we can make improvements after a disappointing 2022 season,” Dave Kasper, D.C. United President of Soccer Operations, 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.”
Prior to joining Leeds United, Klich signed with German first division club VfL Wolfsburg from Polish side Cracovia on July 1, 2011 as the third highest transfer in club history at 1.5 million euros. Klich was then loaned out to PEC Zwolle of the Eredivisie, the Dutch first division, on Jan. 31, 2013 before being permanently sold to them on July 1, 2013. Klich played in 48 matches for PEC Zwolle, scoring six goals with 12 assists and winning the Dutch Cup. A year later, he was sold back to VfL Wolfsburg on July 1, 2014 where he was then transferred to 1. FC Kaiserslautern of the 2. Bundesliga, the German second division. Klich made his debut for the German side on Feb. 14, 2015 in a 1-0 win over VfR Aalen. The midfielder managed to score four goals and record two assists in 23 matches for 1. FC Kaiserslautern. Klich was subsequently sold to Dutch first division side Twente Enschede FC on Aug. 26, 2016. The Polish international made his debut for Twente Enschede FC on Sept. 10, 2016 in a 3-1 loss to SC Heerenveen. During his time with the Dutch club, Klich played in 30 matches scoring six goals and recording four assists before being sold to Leeds United on July 1, 2017.
Klich has played for Poland’s U-18, U-19, U-20, and U-21 teams prior to making his senior national team debut on June 5, 2011 in a 2-1 friendly win over Argentina. The midfielder has scored two goals and recorded four assists in 41 matches for Poland. His first goal and assist came in a 3-2 international friendly win against Denmark on Aug. 14, 2013 when he scored the first goal and provided the assist for the decisive third goal. Klich was part of Poland’s World Cup qualifying teams in both 2013 and 2021. In 2013, Klich played in four of Poland’s World Cup qualifying matches in Group H against Montenegro, San Marino, Ukraine, and England. In 2021, the midfielder played in four of Poland’s World Cup qualifying matches in Group I against San Marino, Albania, Andorra, and Hungary. He was pivotal in the 1-0 win over Albania on Oct. 12, 2021 when he provided the assist for the lone goal in the 77th minute. Klich was also instrumental in Poland’s 2019 European qualifiers where he played in eight of the 10 matches helping Poland top Group G with 25 points. His most recent appearance for Poland came in a 2-0 loss to the Netherlands on Sept. 22, 2022 in the UEFA Nations League.
The 32-year-old started his professional career with Cracovia in the Polish first division (PKO Ekstraklasa) after being promoted from their youth academy in 2008. Klich made his professional debut at 18-years old in a match against GKS Belchatow on Nov. 7, 2008. He became a staple in Cracovia’s midfield, recording his first goal and assist for the club on Nov. 28, 2009 in a 3-2 win over Piast Gliwice. Over the span of three seasons, Klich played in 58 matches for Cracovia scoring five goals and recording 12 assists.
Player: Mateusz Klich
Birthplace: Tarnów, Poland
Birthdate: June 13, 1990
Weight: 150 lbs
Status: Designated Player
Transaction: D.C. United sign Polish International Mateusz Klich from Leeds United on a permanent transfer. Klich will join the club as a Designated Player pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC). The Black-and-Red have signed Klich to a two-year contract through 2024 with an option in 2025.