D.C. United add Bolivian international Peña

Veteran played in '94 World Cup; Dynamo add youngster Appiah

Juan Manuel Peña

Photo Credit: 
Getty

D.C. United and Houston each signed a player to their respective
rosters on Thursday, roughly 48 hours before the teams open the season on
Saturday afternoon.

D.C. United added what could be a vital cog to their defense
stable with former Bolivian international defender Juan Manuel Peña. The 37
year-old is a veteran of 14 seasons in Spain’s La Liga and suited up for Bolivia
during the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Though he won’t be available for Saturday’s
opener at Kansas City, he will be available for selection upon receiving his
P-1 work visa and will be classified as a Senior International on United’s
roster.

Peña spent three years with La Liga side Villareal from
2004-07, and anchored Villareal’s backline through a
successful run in the 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup. He appeared in 56 matches for
the club.

He also earned 85 caps at central defender for Bolivia,
becoming the fifth most capped player in the team’s history and captaining his
side on numerous occasions. He played in one game for Bolivia in the 1994 World
Cup, a 3-1 loss to Spain and featured in five editions of Copa America, the
prestigious bi-annual South American championship tournament.

Houston announced the club has signed midfielder Sammy
Appiah, a third-round pick from the MLS SuperDraft who will occupy the fourth
and final developmental spot on the roster.

Appiah, 25, will be available for the Dynamo’s opener on the
road against FC Dallas . The Ghana native appeared in nine of the Dynamo’s 11
preseason games, mostly as a defensive midfielder. He comes to Houston after a
four-year career at Boston University in which he totaled 11 goals and 10
assists and was named first-team all-America East in 2009.