The Crew announced that they signed Agustín Viana from Uruguayan team Bella Vista. The left footed Viana is expected to fill a big need and compete for a starting spot at either left back or in defensive midfield.
Viana has bounced around Uruguay and Brazil with stops in the lower tiers Greece, Italy, and Romania before heading to the Crew. Brian Bliss calls him a high energy box to box player. With only Tyson Wahl in camp on the left, the Chicago born Uruguayan-American fills a need.
Black and Gold faithful hopes that Viana can lock down the left back spot that has been a revolving door since age caught up to Gino Padula in 2010. Last year's left back hope, Nemanja Vukovic fell out of favor and was soon benched. His resume wasn't strong He bounced around lower league clubs until coming to Columbus and he was cut at the end of the year.
Without a left back, the Crew needed someone and Viana can play on the left. His resume isn't exactly promising either. He's been a vagabond throughout his career, but he was held in high enough esteem to be named captain at Bella Vista.
His leadership is reminiscent of another recent import who was asked to solidify an open spot. Sebastian Miranda had moved around in his career, but earned the captaincy for Unión Española before coming to the Crew. He was a steady presence at right back for two years, replacing legend Frankie Hejduk.
Viana won't be asked to replace a club legend, but he will be needed to plug a leaky defense that is going through an overhaul. He'll be one of two new starters along the back line that will have to gel quickly. Last year's starting left back, Josh Williams moves to right back. Chad Marshall will pair with the new signing Glauber in the middle.
Viana arrived in the Crew's camp in Florida today in hopes of making an immediate impact. The Uruguayan-American will have a steep learning curve to MLS and his new teammates as first kick is a little over four weeks away. Crew backers are hoping for a Miranda like impact rather than the short term of Vukovic.