Exclusive: York United Land Mexican Centre-Back Oswaldo Leon
Multiple sources close to York United have confirmed that the CPL side have landed high-pedigree centre-back Oswaldo Leon, a fellow countryman of the Nine Stripes owners who brings a strong profile with him to York Lions Stadium.
The new arrival has previously suited up for Mexico at the U-20 level and arrives from Expansion MX side Dorados de Sinaloa, having featured for several Mexican clubs after progressing through the youth ranks of the fabled Club America.
The 24-year-old is a player known to York United technical and sporting director Jorge Villalpando, who had coached in the Mexican second tier himself prior to being hired by the Nine Stripes.
The six-foot-two Mexican defender had made over forty appearances for the Club America U-20 squad before getting a chance with the senior team in 2018, when he made four appearances for them in Copa MX cup competition.
He simultaneously broke through with the Mexico U-20 team at that point, featuring in four Concacaf U-20 Championship matches before playing every possible minute in the country’s FIFA U-20 World Cup run in 2019.
After exiting the Club America system, Leon has become a journeyman amongst Mexico’s second tier: annual moves betwixt the likes of Club Atletico Zacatepec, Cancun FC, Tlaxcala, Venados, and Dorados de Sinaloa followed, with Leon tallying 82 Expansion MX appearances since the fall of 2019.
Arriving at the age of 24, Leon is quite an intriguing pickup for Martin Nash’s side. He’s also featured as a left-back when needed, but we’re told the Nine Stripes have recruited him directly as a central defender – and with him being left footed, that’s a rare commodity in CPL circles.
We’ve also confirmed that Dutch-Canadian centre-back Frank Sturing has indeed put pen to paper for York United. Twice capped by the Canadian national team and having previously suited up for the Netherlands at the youth level, the defender last played for Austrian side SV Horn and looks to be another astute pick up by York United.
All-told, the two centre-backs look like they’ll combine to be quite a presence for York United: Sturing and Leon combine to have quite high ceilings and floors, and a strong partnership between the two is an exciting prospect for Nine Stripes fans.
With Tass Mourdoukoutas joining Valour and captain Roger Thompson having retired, it looks like York United has done well to replace the duo. The defensive line will also be bolstered by full-back Juan Cordova, who was recruited from Chile’s top flight.
While York United has yet to make the signings of Frank Sturing and Oswaldo Leon official, multiple trusted sources have confirmed to us that the duo is locked in.