Szetela agrees deal with La Liga's Racing Santander
After nearly two months of transfer speculation and negotiations, Danny Szetela has passed up offers from Roma and Newcastle (among others) to play for Spanish First Division side Racing de Santander.
Szetela, who scored three goals for the U.S. U-20 national team in July's U-20 World Cup, has signed a three-year deal with the Northern Spain-based club, which began the La Liga season in solid fashion by tying Barcelona last weekend. Racing de Santander finished in 10th place in La Liga last season.
Szetela becomes the third member of this summer's U.S. U-20 national team to sign with a European club. Freddy Adu (Benfica) and Sal Zizzo (Hannover 96) both made the move after the U-20 World Cup while Red Bulls forward Jozy Altidore and Real Salt Lake defender Nathan Sturgis have been tipped to transfer to Europe this winter.
Szetela turned down offers from Newcastle, Roma and Brescia, including a late bid from Roma believed to be worth more than 250,000 Euros per season. Financial details of the Racing deal were not disclosed, but Szetela chose to take less money from Racing than Roma in order to have a better chance of seeing first-team action.
Racing de Santander will pay a $150,000 transfer fee to Major League Soccer, a large portion of which will go back to the Columbus Crew. The low fee is a result of Szetela's contract status (his current deal with MLS expires at the end of the year).
Szetela becomes the second American-born player to sign with a Spanish club this summer, joining fellow Clifton, New Jersey native and childhood friend Giuseppe Rossi, who signed with Villarreal earlier this summer. Racing plays host to Villlarreal on Sept. 26th.
Szetela is expected to travel to Spain this weekend for his physical. He currently holds a Polish passport which means he won't count toward Racing's foreign player total.