Fidel Escobar joined fellow Panama international defender Murillo on loan to the Red Bulls. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)
HARRISON, N.J. – The Red Bulls have taken out a loan.
No, it isn’t for money, but for a center back.
On Thursday, Sporting San Miguelito loaned Panamanian international center back Fidel Escobar to the Major League Soccer club for 18 months — through the 2018 season.
The loan is pending the receipt of Escobar’s International Transfer Certificate.
The 22-year-old Escobar most recently performed for Panama in the CONCACAF Gold Cup as Los Canaleros were eliminated by Costa Rica in the quarterfinals in Philadelphia last week. He started two games, including the match at Lincoln Financial Field.
“We are pleased to add Fidel to our roster,” Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett said in a statement. “We’ve had our eye on him for a while, and had the opportunity to watch him play in the Gold Cup. He is a young player that has a lot of qualities we like in a center back.”
Escobar began his professional career at San Francisco FC before moving to Sporting San Miguelito. Both clubs are based in Panama City.
Another Panamanian international defender, Michael Amir Murillo, also is on loan from San Francisco FC. Murillo and Escobar have been teammates at the youth and senior levels for Panama.
Escobar most recently spent the 2016/17 season on loan to Sporting B, the reserve side for Sporting CP in Portugal. He made 14 appearances, including 12 starts, and scored one goal in the Ledman Liga Pro season.
The 5-11, 165-lb. defender earned his first senior cap in February 2015 in a friendly against the United States.