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City Signs Former DC United Striker, Re-Signs Defender Ustruck
First Chinese-born player to play for an MLS club joins City frontline for 2013
Orlando City announced Wednesday the signing of Forward Long Tan and the re-signing of Defender Erik Ustruck, pending USSF approval. Tan, who was last with Major League Soccer’s D.C. United, is a native of Dalian, China, and brings depth and experience to the Lions’ frontline while Ustruck continues to solidify Orlando’s defense heading into the 2013 season.
“We’re delighted that we brought Erik (Ustruck) back to the club,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We’re also excited to what Tan can bring to Orlando. He’s already forming a chemistry up top with Dennis (Chin) and it’s exciting.”
Tan joined D.C. United in the Summer of 2012 and went on to play in six games with three starts for the MLS side, scoring one goal in 231 minutes played. The striker began his career with Shanghai United and Pudong Zobon F.C. in China League One, the second tier of Chinese soccer, before moving to the United States. In 16 appearances, the forward scored six goals for Zobon- who finished 11th in League One standings that season.
Once in America, Tan played for Atlanta Blackhawks (PDL) and FC Tampa Bay before catching on with the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2010.
The 24 year old made his MLS debut on March 26, 2011, becoming the first Chinese born player to play in a MLS match. He also holds the mark for the first goal scored by a Chinese player. The Whitecaps then traded Tan to D.C. United in exchange for a future supplemental draft pick. Tan has also made appearances for the China U23 team, which hosted the 2008 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing.
Along with the Tan signing, Orlando City shored up their backline by bringing back a familiar face in Erik Ustruck. Ustruck played his college soccer at Santa Clara University, making seven appearances for the Under-20 National Team during his time in school. He then began his professional career after being drafted by the Houston Dynamo in the 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft . The defender was eventually loaned to the Austin Aztex, connecting with the team and Head Coach Adrian Heath before signing with F.C. Tampa Bay in the 2010 offseason. After a short tenure with F.C.T.B., he rejoined Heath in Orlando, becoming a regular on the 2011 and 2012 USL PRO Championship squads.
Last season, Ustruck appeared in 17 matches for the Lions, logging seven assists in 907 minutes played.