The maligned New York City defense received some needed reinforcement today.
This morning, the club announced the acquisition of Ethan White from the Philadelphia Union. NYCFC sent its fourth round SuperDraft pick for 2017.
A D.C. United youth product, White formerly appeared for the United States Under-18 and Under-20 teams, and played his college ball with the Maryland Terrapins under legendary coach Sasho Cirovski. (New York City forward Patrick Mullins, who joined the Terps in fall 2010, missed out on being White's college teammate by a single year.)
As a Homegrown Player with United, White made 38 appearances and was a starter for their victory in the 2013 U.S. Open Cup final against Jason Kreis's Real Salt Lake. He transferred to the Union via trade in 2014.
Sporting Director Claudio Reyna had warm words for the new signing:
"We are excited to add an athletic and experienced center-half in Ethan White to our roster. He is a young player and we are looking forward to working with him and developing his game even further."
Added White himself:
"I’m really pleased. It’s a great opportunity for me to join an exciting club that's looking to do big things. I’m very happy to be a part of this and I am determined to help the club achieve success. I'm already looking forward to joining my new teammates for pre-season"
This is a low-to-no-risk move for New York City, and comes with decent potential for reward given the fledgling franchise's continual defensive struggles.
With Shay Facey returning to Manchester City and Kwame Watson-Siriboe and Jeb Brovsky heading back into the MLS re-entry pool, we can reasonably expect that more defensive signings remain on the horizon. Tomorrow evening, in fact, NYCFC fans may be given a chance to observe another potential defensive signing, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado. The former Seattle Sounder is on trial with the team and made the trip to Puerto Rico for Friday's friendly.