Egyptian defender Amro Tarek's signing was confirmed by Crew SC this afternoon. He will join the team on loan for the 2016 season from Real Betis.
Tarek joins a growing number of defenders on the Columbus roster. He's been consistently a left back during his time in Germany with FC Magdeburg II, SC Freiburg, and VfL Wolfsburg II. He finally broke through to the senior team with Egyptian Premeier League team El Gouna FC, joining in 2013. Tarek did not make an appearance with Real Betis after transfering in the summer of 2015.
As to where he fits in the squad, Berhalter noted Tarek will "bring depth and talent to our backline" in a press release announcing the move. This initially suggests that he will be a backup initially, though he will have a chance to play. Starting left back Waylon Francis has featured regularly for the Costa Rican National Team and may miss time during international breaks and for this summer's Copa America.
Tarek could find playing time at center back. He does have experience in the middle during his career. Crew SC is likely set with Michael Parkhurst and Gaston Sauro as the incumbents along the backline, but at 6'2" Tarek is big enough to move centrally and provide the mobility that Crew SC's defensive system requires from the backline.
While terms of the deal weren't announced, it's likely that Betis isn't requiring a significant loan fee or may be paying some of Tarek's wages. With international slots at a premium, the chance of freeing up the roster spot motivated Betis to find him a new home.
The deal likely has a low downside for Crew SC. Given that Tarek is on loan, the team has a year to decide if he's going to fit with the challenging defensive system that Columbus deploys. If he works out, then Crew SC probably has an affordable option given the constraints that Betis is in.
Crew SC get a backup at two spots with top league experience who is young enough to improve without having to spend a lot to do it. This looks like a good deal by Berhalter and the technical staff.