ORLANDO, Fla. (December 27, 2017) - Orlando City SC signs left back Mohamed El-Munir, pending receipt of his ITC and P-1 Visa. Additionally, the Club acquires midfielder Jose Villarreal from LA Galaxy in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.
“Mohamed brings considerable experience in Europe and on the international stage,” Lions General Manager Niki Budalic said. “His great pace, ability on the ball and defensive solidity make him a nice fit for our squad. We can’t wait to get him into camp.”
El-Munir, 25, joins City from Serbian SuperLiga side FK Partizan Belgrade, where he made seven appearances across all competitions in 2017 to help Partizan capture its 27th SuperLiga championship.
Prior to Partizan, El-Munir was with FC Dinamo Minsk in the Belarusian Premier League since 2015. With Dinamo Minsk, El-Munir made 10 appearances in UEFA Europa League Qualifiers and five in the Europa League competition, scoring two goals. El-Munir made 11 and 19 appearances in the Belarusian Premier League in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
El-Munir began his professional career with Al-Ittihad Tripoli in the Libyan Premier League in 2010.
The Tripoli native made the first of his 15 senior international appearances for Libya on Oct. 14, 2012 in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Algeria. El-Munir has appeared for Libya in each of the last two FIFA World Cup qualifying cycles and has three goals in his international career.
“We are pleased to add Jose,” Budalic added. “He’s an attack-minded player that we feel can contribute in several different roles”
Villarreal, 24, joins the Lions following his sixth MLS season with LA Galaxy. Villarreal was signed from the Galaxy Academy at just 18 years old and has made 70 MLS regular and postseason appearances since then, scoring five goals and nine assists. The midfielder was a part of the Galaxy’s 2012 and 2014 MLS Cup championship teams - making 11 appearances with one goal in 2012 and five appearances in 2014. Villarreal has also played 40 matches for LA Galaxy II in the United Soccer League since 2014, scoring seven goals and eight assists. Villarreal spent time on loan with LigaMX side Cruz Azul in 2014.
The Inglewood, Calif., native scored six goals in 15 appearances for the U.S. U-18, U-20 and U-23 national teams.
El-Munir will occupy an international roster spot.
TRANSACTION: Orlando City SC signs left back Mohamed El-Munir. Additionally, the Club acquires midfielder Jose Villarreal from LA Galaxy in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.
Name: Mohamed El-Munir (Mo-HA-med El Muh-NIR)
Weight: 154 lbs.
Birth Date: April 8, 1992
Birthplace: Tripoli, Libya
Name: Jose Villarreal (Jo-se Vi-ya-rre-al)
Weight: 160 lbs.
Birth Date: Sept. 10, 1993
Birthplace: Inglewood, Calif.