Union sign forward Veljko Paunovic

June 13, 2011 1:21:43 PM PDT
Philadelphia Union announced today the signing of forward Veljko Paunovic, who last played for Partizan FK of the Serbian SuperLiga. The striker and attacking midfielder joins the Union after spending the majority of his professional career in Spain's La Liga. Paunovic will be eligible to play for the Union when the club visits Vancouver Whitecaps on June 18, at 10:00 p.m. EST. Per MLS and Club policy, terms of the signing were not disclosed. Paunovic made his professional debut in 1994 with Partizan FK at the age of 17. Only a year after, the forward made his move to Spain, where he represented seven clubs in his 13 years in the country, netting 70 goals in 297 matches. Starring the vast majority of the time with Atletico de Madrid (1996-98, 1999-00, 2001-02, 2003-05), Paunovic also had stints with UD Marbella (1995-96), RCD Mallorca (1998-99, 2000-'01, 2001-'02), Real Oviedo S.A.D. (2000-01), CD Tenerife (2002-03), Getafe C.F.S.A.D. (2005-07) and Unión Deportiva Almería (2007-08).

Paunovic was transferred to Bundesliga club Hannover 96 in 2005, and a year after returned to La Liga's Getafe for two seasons. The striker was then sent out to FC Rubin Kazan in the Russian Premier League for a brief stint in 2007 before heading to his final Spanish destination, Almería.

The Serbian National Team called Paunovic up in 2002, debuting him on February 13 during a 2-1 victory over Mexico. The forward's second and last cap came in a friendly with Northern Ireland on April 28, 2004, where he scored the lone goal in a 1-1 draw.

Name: Veljko Paunovic Position: Forward Height: 6-1/2 Weight: 165 Born: August 21, 1977 Birthplace: Strumica, Macedonia Citizenship: Serbian/Spanish Last Club: Partizan FK ? Serbia Pronunciation: VEL-ko paoo-NO-vic (Copyright 2011 Philadelphia Union. Reprinted by permission)