U.S.' Miguel Ibarra seals transfer to Club Leon from Minnesota United
United States international midfielder Miguel Ibarra has sealed a move to Club Leon from Minnesota United in the North American Soccer League.
Ibarra, 25, won the NASL Golden Ball last season and became the first player from the second division to earn a call-up to the U.S. since 2005.
Ibarra had two years left on his contract with Minnesota United, but the midfielder told ESPN FC in February that the club would not stand in his way when it was time for him to move on.
"First of all I want to thank the organization for everything they've done for me, they have opened the doors for me to start my career in the beautiful state of Minnesota," Ibarra said in a statement. "They have worked so hard and that's why the team is where they are now, bigger and stronger than ever..."
"I want to thank my teammates, my brothers -- they've always pushed me and always helped me get out of my slumps. They pushed me every day at practice and again I wouldn't be where I'm at without them."
Minnesota United did not announce a transfer fee, but sources told ESPN FC that the NASL club would receive "seven figures" to allow Ibarra to leave. As part of the transfer, Ibarra will play one half for each team in a friendly in Minnesota on July 18.
Ibarra scored 16 goals in 93 appearances for Minnesota, which will begin playing in Major League Soccer in 2017 or 2018.
"I am 100 percent excited for Miguel and the opportunities that he has had over the last several years with our club and the U.S. National Team," said Minnesota United coach Manny Lagos. "He is going to be playing in a great league in Mexico. Miguel has been a huge part of the core of this team's successes for many years and we feel that we have grown as a club at the same time he has grown as a player."
Leon won the Apertura title in 2013, but they finished second-to-last in the recently completed 2015 Clausura.
Ibarra will join U.S. goalkeeper William Yarbrough at his new club.