Red Bulls sign Venezuelan defender Cichero

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Let's call it the continuing South Americanization of the New York Red Bulls.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Big Apple club announced the signing of Venezuelan international defender Gabriel Cichero, who comes to New York from Venezuelan first division side Deportivo Italia. He is the second Venezuelan signed by coach Juan Carlos Osorio, joining Venezuelan international Jorge Rojas. Per League and club policy, specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We're excited to bring Gabriel on board as we head into the final stretch of the season," said New York sporting director Jeff Agoos. "Gabriel has proven himself in a number of leagues that he is a very complete defender and we are confident that he will make an immediate impact."

The 24-year-old Cichero has bounced around in his career, spending time on both sides of the Atlantic. Before joining Deportivo Italia, he spent one year with Bulgarian club Vihren Sandanski and three years with Montevideo Wanderers of the Uruguayan First Division. He made four appearances for Serie A side Lecce in 2006 after being loaned out by Wanderers and then sold to Vihren Sandanski.

Cichero also has 10 caps for the Venezuelan National Team, and scored his first international goal in a friendly against Colombia in May.

However, it isn't goals the Red Bulls are looking for. Osorio's side is currently in last place in the Eastern Conference, and the 6-foot-1 Cichero must help bolster the defense, which has conceded 27 goals in 18 matches. The side also recently acquired Mexican wing back Diego Jimenez.

The Red Bulls face Barcelona in a friendly on Wednesday night, and the club says Cichero is available.