Seattle Sounders FC has signed defender Tyrone Mears, the club announced today. An English football veteran with 14 years of professional playing experience, Mears will be added to Seattle’s roster pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, additional terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
“Tyrone is a player we had an opportunity to evaluate over the past summer when he trained with us in Seattle and we were very impressed with his pedigree,” said Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid. “He’s a fullback that is solid defensively, with the ability to posses the ball and to get forward in the attack. Tyrone is also a very good one-versus-one defender – a capability that is a key ingredient to success in our league – and we’re excited about his future with our club.
Mears, 31, has made over 200 professional appearances in England, most recently with Football League Championship side Bolton Wanderers from 2011-14, in addition to Barclays Premier League runs with Bolton, Burnley, Derby County and West Ham United. The English-born defender also played for French side Marseille during the 2008-09 season, helping the club to a quarterfinal appearance in the UEFA Cup during that campaign.
“We’re excited to welcome Tyrone to Sounders FC,” said Sporting Director Chris Henderson. “His professional experience, athleticism and versatility on the backline make him a valuable player for our club heading into 2015."
A versatile defender that has played both centerback and fullback throughout his career, Mears is a product of Manchester City’s youth system, making his professional debut during City’s 2001-2002 campaign. He was then transferred to Preston North End, where he made 70 appearances in the Football League Championship before moving to West Ham United for the 2006-07 Barclays Premier League season. After being loaned to Derby County in 2007, Mears helped the Rams gain promotion to the Premiership before injuries limited his playing time in the 2007-08 season.
Following a short stint with Marseille in Ligue 1, he joined Barclays Premier League side Burnely in 2009, where he made 82 appearances for the Clarets before moving on to Bolton in 2011. Mears made 28 appearances over three seasons for Wanderers – limited largely due to injury at the beginning of his tenure – before completing his stay at the Lancashire club in 2014.
Transaction: Seattle Sounders FC signs defender Tyrone Mears on December 29, 2014.
Born: February 18, 1983 in Stockport, England
Hometown: Manchester, England
Citizenship: United Kingdom
Acquired: Added to Sounders FC roster as a Discovery Signing on December 29, 2014
Previous Experience: Bolton Wanderers (2011-14), Burnley (2009-11), Marseille (2008-09), Derby County (2007-09), West Ham United (2006-07), Preston North End (2002-06), Manchester City (2001-02)