See more of the story

Minnesota United said Friday that it has signed defender Romain Metanire from his Stade Reims club in France.

Metanire, 28, also is a member of the Madagascar national team. Minnesota United used targeted allocation money to acquire Metanire, who will occupy an international spot on the team's roster.

In a news release, Loons coach Adrian Heath described Metanire as "great at defending but good at going forward as well. The role of the fullback has evolved, it's multifaceted, you have to have the physical capabilities to defend, but you have to also be a threat in the opposition's half. We are excited to have him in and it's another step in the right direction in this critical offseason for the club."

Metanire began his pro soccer career in 2008, playing for his hometown team FC Metz. He joined Reims in 2017. In a 10-year career, he has played 18,774 minutes in 218 games, including appearances in the Coupe de la Ligue, Beker van Belgie and Coupe de France.

Metanire, the first player of Malagasy descent to play in Major League Soccer, is expected to join the team pending a physical and receipt of his international papers. He joins a Loons back line that includes Francisco Calvo, Michael Boxall and Brent Kallman.

The move comes after the Loons acquired Slovakia national team member Jan Gregus, a midfielder, from Copenhagen FC and worked a deal to claim longtime MLS midfielder Ozzie Alonso off waivers from Seattle.