Earnie Stewart and the Union front office remained busy adding to their roster on Monday by signing London-born forward Jay Simpson as a Discovery Signing.
The deal was made using Targeted Allocation Money.
“Jay brings goal-scoring prowess to our team, in addition to a valuable veteran presence, as he has demonstrated with multiple clubs in England,” Stewart said in the team’s official release. “He has played at the highest levels of club soccer, including in the Premier League, and we are excited to add a forward of his quality to our squad.”
After beginning his career as part of the Arsenal system, Simpson, now 28, bounced around England and added a stint in Thailand before eventually landing at League Two’s Leyton Orient, where he scored 36 goals in 99 appearances.
Forward was a position of need for the Union, who lacked depth there in 2016. The Union’s top forward, C.J. Sapong, scored seven goals and two assists last season but was blanked in the final 10 games, while Charlie Davies, in his recovery from cancer, failed to make an impact.
Simpson, Sapong and Davies are expected to compete for playing time in 2017.
The move to sign Simpson comes days after the Union inked left back Giliano Wijnaldum to a deal. Stewart has been open about the club’s desire to add quality and depth to the left back, forward and center back positions, with the latter yet to be filled.