Former Middlesborough and Hannover defender Emanuel Pogatetz has today made a move that see's him join Columbus Crew in Major League Soccer.
The former Premier League stalwart, who also spent time on loan at West Ham United last year, and was most recently at FC Nurnberg who were relegated from the Bundesliga at the end of last season.
“We think Emanuel is a great addition to the roster,” said Crew Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “He’s a highly experienced defender and a captain of his National Team with over 60 appearances for Austria. Emanuel comes to us with Bundesliga and Premiership experience, and he’s accomplished at the highest levels of the game."
"He's very good in the air and a strong tackler that can possess and pass the ball well. He fits right into what we're doing and he’s a person who can affect the culture of our club with his experience, attitude and mentality.”
This move goes a long way to replacing former Crew centre half Giancarlo Gonzalez who joined Palermo in Italy after an excellent World Cup with Costa Rica over the summer. Pogatetz will likely pair up at the heart of the defense with Michael Parkhurst.
"The timing of the Giancarlo [deal], you don't want to push him out the door because he's there," Berhalter said. "But it also put us in a difficult position, because it was after the transfer deadline. So we were forced to go to our Plan B list, and [Pogatetz] was one of the players on it."
The Crew currently sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with seven regular-season matches remaining, with a record of nine wins, nine draws, and nine losses.