Sydney's Garcia makes Minnesota switch

Midfielder Richard Garcia has signed for Minnesota United FC where he will join former Sydney FC teammate Tiago Calvano.

The former Socceroo and English Premier League player will join the club for the 2014 North American Soccer League (NASL) Spring Season with an option for the Fall Season.

"This is a great opportunity for me to continue playing uninterrupted from the A-League season, and I am very excited to join Minnesota United FC with the goal to help the club secure a spot in the NASL Championship,” the 32-year-old told the club’s official site.

“I have been paying close attention to the team from Australia and am pleased that the club has set a high standard securing the full twelve points so far in the NASL Spring season.

"I expect my transition to be much easier after playing with Tiago at Sydney this past season. Our wives became friendly and children are similar ages.

“Tiago has already been a great help providing a strong recommendation about the club and local community. I cannot wait to join my teammates and look forward to meeting everyone in Minnesota.”

Garcia, who played for West Ham and Hull City, is the first player signed by Minnesota’s to have played in a World Cup and the EPL.

United coach Manny Lagos said he was excited by the experience and skill the Australian "brought to the table".

“He has been a player that’s had a great career all over the globe and we are thrilled to add someone of his quality to our team.” Lagos said

“It’s nice to bring in a player who has played at the highest level and represented his country in the biggest soccer tournament in the world.

“I think that’s unique in itself to have a player like that come to Minnesota, but first and foremost we are excited to get a good quality person and player.”

The NASL is the second tier under the MLS.