The New England Revolution have made their first significant addition of the offseason announcing the transfer of Slovenian international defender Antonio Mlinar Delamea. The signing confirmed earlier reports from Taylor Twellman.
Delamea was signed using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) and will be added to the roster when the team receive his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa. The new centerback is expected to train with the team today (Wednesday, January 25th, 2017).
"We are very pleased to add to our defense with an experienced center back like Toni," Revolution General Manager Michael Burns said. "We're excited to have him here for the beginning of training camp and we look forward to getting him a full preseason of action on the field with his new teammates."
Delamea, 25, has made a combined 134 appearances across all competitions in his senior career in Slovenia, registering five goals with three assists since 2008. His previous experience includes five campaigns with NK Olimpija Ljubljana (2011-17) in Slovenia's top-flight PrvaLiga, and three seasons with NK Interblock Ljubljana (2008-11) in both the PrvaLiga (2008-10) and the Slovenian Second League (2010-11). After returning from an injury, he helped Olimpija win the club's first PrvaLiga title in 2015-16.
Delamea has made 20 appearances for Olimpija in their current 2016-17 season, including 19 starts at centerback while serving as club captain. Delamea made his senior debut for Slovenia on November 14th, 2016 coming on as a halftime sub against Poland. Slovenia most recently qualified for the World Cup in 2010 where they faced the United States in Group C. Slovenia is currently in second place in UEFA qualifying behind England in Group F.
The TAM used for the signing is most likely to offset the salary cap hit which could include Delamea’s transfer fee. It’s unknown how much was used on the signing, but to be eligible Delamea must be making a minimum of $457,000 in salary, the maximum budget charge a player can make under the MLS Salary Cap.
And we have it first Slovenian in MLS Antonio Mlinar Delamea to @NERevolution @MLS @nkolimpija @nzs_si pic.twitter.com/Pgfk3OxEf3— Denis Selimovic (@DenisSelim44) January 25, 2017
Delamea will wear #19 for the New England Revolution. He previously wore the #20 with Olipmija however no one has worn that number since former star striker and all-time club leading scorer Taylor Twellman retired from MLS in 2010.
New England still has one more mystery centerback to reveal as two players were teased by team president Brian Bilello yesterday.
Welcome to New England Antonio!