Sydney FC has signed former English Premier League attacker and Socceroo Richard Garcia for the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League.
Garcia joins Sydney FC from Melbourne Heart where he played 24 games during the 2012/13 Hyundai A-League season, scoring 6 goals, following a distinguished career in England highlighted by his 114 appearances for Hull City from 2007-2012, which included two seasons in the English Premier League.
The 31-year-old bolsters the Sydney FC attacking line that also includes Alessandro Del Piero, Corey Gameiro, Joel Chianese, Yairo Yau, Mitch Mallia and Blake Powell.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Sydney FC,” Garcia said. “Sydney FC is a big club with big expectations and that’s something I thrive on. To be playing alongside players like Alessandro Del Piero, Brett Emerton and Nick Carle will be a fantastic experience for me and something I’m very much looking forward to.
“I can’t wait to start pre season training with the team and I look forward to working hard with the rest of the boys to win a spot and then helping Sydney FC push for success this season.”
Sydney FC coach Frank Farina was excited at the signing of Garcia, as he continues the Sky Blues’ preparation for the 2013/14 season in Italy.
“Richie is a great addition to the Sydney FC squad for the 2013/14 season,” he said. “He is a proven performer at the highest levels of the game, has played English Premier League and been to a World Cup.
"He did well last year in the A-League and he fits in with what we are trying to implement and achieve at Sydney FC this season.
“Richie is a leader and a winner on and off the pitch and they are important ingredients when looking at who we bring to Sydney FC. He can play as a striker or a midfielder and I think he will suit our style of game just perfectly.”
The 31-year-old originally hails from Perth but spent two years at the prestigious West Ham youth academy, before he signed his first professional contract with West Ham in 1999. Garcia went on to play 16 matches in the English Premier League with West Ham, followed by a stint at Colchester before playing 41 top flight games for Hull City from 2008-2010.
Garcia was a member of the Australian squad that took part in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and has played 18 internationals for the Socceroos, scoring two goals, as well as making two appearances for the Australian U23 side (Olyroos) in 2003.
The Sydney FC A-League squad is: Ivan Necevski, Sebastian Ryall, Marc Warren, Pascal Bosschaart, Matt Jurman, Brett Emerton, Pedj Bojic, Corey Gameiro, Alessandro Del Piero, Richard Garcia, Blake Powell, Tiago Calvano, Mitch Mallia, Terry McFlynn, Joel Chianese, Peter Triantis, Nick Carle, Vedran Janjetovic, Yairo Yau, Ali Abbas, Rhyan Grant, Hagi Gligor and Daniel Petkovski.