SEATTLE (AP) - The Seattle Sounders bolstered their defense by signing Ecuadorian central defender Xavier Arreaga and bringing back Joevin Jones ahead of the MLS transfer window deadline.


Seattle announced the pair of signings on Tuesday night. Arreaga is being signed as a designated player after the 24-year-old spent the past four seasons with Barcelona SC in Ecuador. Jones, who played for Seattle through the 2017 season, is returning after spending time in German playing for SV Darmstadt.

"We're constantly looking to improve our squad, and today we've brought in two players - a new face and a familiar face," said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. "We needed to get younger at the centerback position, and we think Xavier is a player who gives us a good long-term solution. Additionally, we wanted to give ourselves another versatile option in the attack, and Joevin is a player we know well and are confident can come in and help us right away."


While the return of Jones gives Seattle a versatile player who can play both in defense and the midfield, the signing of Arreaga is more important in bolstering Seattle's back line. Chad Marshall has been one of the top defenders in MLS, but has been dealing with injuries late last season and early this year. Arreaga started 78 of 79 matches playing in the top league in Ecuador and made his first national team appearance late last year.

"As a coach, I appreciate the work and forward thinking our scouting department has done to identify a talented young centerback. Acquiring players who fit the culture and ambitions of the club are always welcome," said Sounders FC Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. "Joevin is a very talented left-back who can also play higher up the field, as well as a very good player who helped us win MLS Cup. I look forward to bringing him back into our squad."


Jones spent the 2016-17 seasons with Seattle before his move to Germany.