TULSA, Okla. – FC Tulsa announced on Thursday forward Dario Suarez, who led the club in goalscoring during the 2020 season, had re-signed with the club for the 2021 USL Championship season. The signing is pending league and federation approval.
The Cuban forward, dubbed “Super Darío” by the Tulsa fans, was one of the club’s more notable signings last offseason. Suárez came to FC Tulsa billed as a high-volume goalscorer, and he delivered, leading the club with eight goals and finishing in the Top-10 in the league during the regular season. Suárez racked up league honors in his first season with FC Tulsa, capturing one Goal of the Week award, two Team of the Week honors and was nominated for the USL Championship’s September Player of the Month.
“It’s easy to see what Darío adds to our team, just look at the numbers,” said FC Tulsa Head Coach Michael Nsien. “It’s very realistic to expect Dario to score a goal every 2 games. In order to win, you need goal scorers like him. Dario’s will to win is also an intangible, that is important for the team environment when you have high aspirations.”
In just 16 matches for the club, Suarez’s eight goals rank him first in club history in goals per game (minimum of five matches played). In terms of total numbers in FC Tulsa’s six-year history, Suarez already ranks eighth all-time in goals scored.
“I am very happy to be returning to Tulsa,” said Suárez. “We finished last season feeling we could become champions, and that is our goal for the coming season. At ONEOK [Field] I have felt at home. Our fans have been great with me, and I have felt a great connection with them. I look forward to celebrating our goals with them next year.”
Birmingham Legion FC announced on Thursday the signing of defender Ryan James to a multi-year deal, pending league and federation approval. The club’s first new signing ahead of 2021, spent the past two seasons playing for Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC.
“Ryan is a dynamic, versatile defender that also has the ability to get forward in the attack,” said Legion FC President and GM Jay Heaps. “We’re excited to add Ryan to our group as his experience in this league will be a great addition to our locker room.”
James was a consistent starter for the Hounds the past two years, appearing in 55 of 56 contests for the side across all competitions. The Canadian regularly featured as a left wingback in the Hounds’ system, and also spent time at left back and central midfield. James notched a career-high six assists in the 2019 season and then recorded a career-high five goals this past year as he helped Pittsburgh to back-to-back postseason appearances.
Before joining the ‘Hounds, James played for Nashville SC in 2018 and made 19 appearances. After being drafted in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft by Sporting Kansas City, he signed with then-Championship side the Rochester Rhinos for the 2016 and 2017 seasons and played there with current Legion FC midfielder Marcos Ugarte.
Real Monarchs SLC announced on Thursday the club had signed Ecuadorian midfielder Josimar Quintero from RCD Espanyol in the Segunda Division of Spain’s La Liga for the 2021 Championship season. Quintero’s signing is pending league and federation approval, as well as the approval of his P-1 Visa. The terms of the signing have not been disclosed.
“Josimar is another young, dynamic attacking player for the Monarchs roster,” said Real Salt Lake Assistant General Manager Tony Beltran. “His combined experience and ability to cover ground in the midfield brings an industrial upgrade to the roster. We look forward to watching him develop and mature as a player with the Monarchs.”
The 23-year-old joins the Monarchs with an extensive resume that includes some of the largest clubs in Europe. Quintero spent his formative years at the historic La Masia, home to FC Barcelona’s vaunted youth academy, before moving to Chelsea as a late teenager. While in England, Quintero competed with the youth academy and the reserve team in the Premier League 2. After six years Quintero was transferred to RCD Espanyol, where he competed with Espanyol B and appeared in 10 matches.
While with Chelsea, Quintero went on loan to clubs in both Russia and Spain. In 2017 he was loaned out to FC Rostov and part-way through the year he was loaned to Betis Deportivo Balompié where he competed with the reserves squad. The following season Quintero remained in Spain with Club Lleida Esportiu in the third tier of professional football where he racked up 18 appearances.