Roster News / Union

Union sign defensive midfielder José Andrés Martínez

Photo courtesy Zulia FC

Philadelphia Union got an early Christmas gift for their faithful fans.

The club announced the signing of defensive midfielder José Andrés Martínez from Venezuelan side Zulia FC on Monday morning.

Union sporting director Ernst Tanner describes Martínez, 25, as “an up-and-coming player whose tenacity and athleticism will bolster our midfield going forward.”

Martínez — nicknamed “El Brujo,” or “The Wizard” — signed for an undisclosed transfer fee.  The Inquirer’s Jonathan Tannenwald reports that the fee was $325,000, while ProSoccerUSA’s Joe Tansey reports that Martínez’s contract is for two years with an option for a third.

The Venezuelan is the Union’s first signing of the offseason and the first piece in what is expected to be a makeover of the club’s midfield after the departures of Haris Medunjanin and Marco Fabian and the likely exit of loanee Jamiro Monteiro.

Martínez is listed as a defensive midfielder, suggesting that he is likely to replace Medunjanin at the base of the Union’s diamond midfield. His squad number is not immediately available.


  1. This is excellent news!! Glad that he is only 25. hopefully he’ll be around for a while.
    Given their strong soccer tradition and bad situation with their economy, I have honestly been surprised that more Venezuelan players have not come to MLS.

  2. It seems this is a good piece of business by the Union. Get a player that potentially translates into profit at a position of need, at moderate cost.
    A nickname like The Wizard makes me curious about his talent technical and passing-wise. The clips are short but seems like he has good feet and a decent passing range.
    I doubt Monteiro is back, as it appeared he was looking for more time in Europe. Still hoping we sign a quality box-to-box mf and a forward to compliment/sub Przybyłko.

  3. In Tanner We Trust says:

    This is fantastic news! The exact amount we paid will tell us if this is the equivalent of Monteiro staying. If Martinez is signed relatively cheap, I’ll continue to blindly hope. But for now, this is extremely exciting!

  4. Most importantly, is he putting el Brujo on his jersey? If so, I’ll be the guy in an el Brujo jersey wearing a wizard’s hat (not of the washington variety) at the home opener

  5. Finally, something to talk about

  6. Good move. Welcome, José!

  7. Like it so far. Welcome Jose.

  8. Also plays right back. Fills 2 needs if we change formations.

  9. Needs to be a backup under tam for this to be good. 25 and no caps for a bad Venezuela national team.

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