Gonzalez signing gives Columbus Crew three Ticos

[MLS 2014 COUNTDOWN] The Columbus Crew signed Costa Rican national team center back Giancarlo Gonzalez from Norway's Valerenga. The 26-year-old Gonzalez gives the Crew another experienced player on its rebuilt backline and a third Tico.

Chad Marshall was traded to Seattle, and Brazilian Glauber, the Crew's other center back at the start of last season, did not return after injuring his knee.

Gonzalez joins Michael Parkhurst and fellow Tico Waylon Francis as new signings on the backline. Gonzalez and Francis join Jairo Arrieta as the third Tico on the Crew.

"Giancarlo is a very experienced, young and promising centerback," said Crew sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter. “He has experience in Europe and international experience with the Costa Rican national team. He's been a solid starter all through FIFA World Cup qualifying for Costa Rica and we feel he is going to be a good addition to our team. He's dangerous on offensive set pieces and he's a good passer of the ball. He's good in one-v-one tackling and he has leadership qualities."

DALLAS YOUTH MOVEMENT. FC Dallas added another young Latin American player with the signing of 22-year-old David Texeira from Dutch club FC Groningen, where he scored 14 goals in 65 games.

“He’s a striker who finishes, a striker who works extremely hard off the ball and is going to complement what we have already with [Andres] Escobar, [Mauro] Diaz, [Fabian] Castillo and Blas [Perez],” FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo said in a statement. “He’s a guy we have followed for a long time. He was probably one of the best players in the 2011 U-20 World Cup in Colombia, and from there he went to the Netherlands right away."

Escobar and Diaz, who hail from Colombia and Argentina, respectively, are also 22, while Castillo is only 21.

Carolina Challenge Cup:
Feb. 22 in Charleston, S.C.
Houston vs. D.C. United (MLSSoccer.com, 5 pm ET)
Charleston Battery vs. Seattle (MLSSoccer.com, 7:15 pm ET)

Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic:
Feb. 22 in Kissimmee, Fla.
Philadelphia vs. Columbus, 1 p.m. ET
Fluminense vs. Sporting KC (SportingKC.com, 3 p.m. ET)
Montreal vs. New York (MLSSoccer.com, 6 p.m. ET)
Toronto FC vs. Orlando City, 8 p.m. ET

FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup:

Feb. 22 in Tucson, Ariz.
FC Tucson vs. Chicago, 3 p.m. ET
Colorado vs. Real Salt Lake (RealSaltLake.com, 5:30 p.m. ET)
New England vs. Chivas USA, 8 p.m. ET
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