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Sporting KC introduces Bieler as designated player

Associated Press

12/18/2012 4:24:43 PM

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Sporting Kansas City has introduced Argentine forward Claudio Bieler as a designated player, adding a talented goal-scorer from Ecuador's Serie A to its roster.

The 28-year-old Bieler was acquired by the MLS club from LDU Quito for an undisclosed transfer fee after scoring 57 goals in 110 games in Ecuador's top professional league.

Nicknamed "El Taca," Bieler had 20 goals in 34 games this past season.

Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said after losing in the MLS Cup playoffs that he would seek to add a talented striker this off-season. Vermes said Tuesday that Bieler had proven to be a "very consistent goal scorer."

The designated player rule allows MLS clubs to acquire high-salary players and have only a portion of their salary count against the club's budget. Sporting KC has had three designated players: Claudio Lopez in 2008 and Omar Bravo and Jeferson in 2011.