Dallas has their Edwin Cerrillo replacement.
FC Dallas and defensive midfielder Asier Illarramendi have agreed on a contract until 2023 with a 2024 option.
Bienvenido, Illarra ‼️
We have acquired free agent midfielder Asier Illarramendi for the remainder of the 2023 season with an option for 2024.
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) August 3, 2023
The move comes a day after Dallas sent incumbent defensive midfielder Edwin Cerrillo to the LA Galaxy.
Illarra, 33, arrives in Dallas with an impressive European CV. The veteran midfielder came through Real Sociedad’s academy, breaking into the first team in 2010, making 56 appearances. His performances in La Liga led to Real Madrid calling for the Spaniards’ signature. Los Blancos would make Illarra their most expensive Spanish signing ever, spending $35M and signing him to a six-year deal in 2013.
His time in Madrid would lead to the glories associated with the club. Illarra would win the 13/14 Copa del Ray, 13/14 Champions League, 2014 UEFA Super Cup, and the 2014 Club World Cup.
Despite the cabinet of silverware, Illarra himself struggled for the Spanish giants. Illarra, brought in to replace Xabi Alonso, could not live up to the expectations and was sold back to Sociedad two years later.
Back with his boyhood club, Illarra found his confidence and form once again. Putting himself back into the upper echelon of La Liga holding midfielders. He excelled so much so; he received a call-up from Julen Lopetegui, making his Spain debut in 2017. Going on to make three appearances and scored during a World Cup qualification window.
Now, following 197 more appearances for Real Sociedad, Illarra found himself out of contract for the first time. During last season with Sociedad, Illarra was consigned to a squad player role as Martín Zubimendi usurped his position.
With Dallas, Illarra lines up for a prominent role in a side fighting for their playoff spot.