York United FC announce signing of Canadian defender Frank Sturing
York United FC

York United FC announced on Tuesday the signing of defender Frank Sturing.

Born in the Netherlands, the 26-year-old centre-back holds a Canadian passport and featured twice for the senior team during qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

At club level, Sturing has spent his entire career in his home country, starting out at his local team NEC Nijmegen. After establishing himself with the Under-19 side across 2014/2015 and captaining the group the following year, he was handed a senior Eredivisie debut in April, 2017 for an away assignment against Vitesse. He also started the next two league games – against Groningen and Ajax, though it was a tough campaign for NEC and they suffered relegation.

RELATED: CPL Off-Season Roster Tracker: Who’s in and who’s out for 2024?

However, it proved a blessing of sorts for Sturing as he featured prominently in the second tier, scoring twice in 22 appearances in all competitions. He suffered a knee injury in late-2018 which hampered his contributions but he returned the following term and managed 15 appearances. In the summer of 2020, Sturing moved to another second-tier Dutch club, FC Den Bosch, and was a crucial part of their defensive setup, racking up 19 games.

His performances attracted the attention of Austrian club SV Horn and he joined the second division club in 2021. Across two seasons, he was consistently impressive, making 47 appearances and scoring twice.

Frank Sturing celebrates his goal for Canada. (Photo: Canada Soccer)

Sturing, who qualifies to represent Canada through his father, was named in the Under-23 provisional squad for Olympic qualifying in February 2020. The following year, he got his big chance and John Herdman called him into the senior squad for a pair of FIFA World Cup preliminary qualifiers. In March 2021, Sturing made his debut and played 90 minutes against the Cayman Islands, scoring in the 11-0 victory. A couple of months later, he got another full senior cap under his belt in the 7-0 win over Aruba – once again playing the full game.

He continued to be involved in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, being in the matchday squad for all five games as Canada made it to the semi-finals.

“We’re thrilled to bring Frank to the club,” says York United FC head coach Martin Nash.

“He’s a strong presence at the back but as much as being a combative, aggressive and intelligent defender, he’s also extremely comfortable on the ball. He can pick a pass and open up the game. He brings plenty of experience and he’s got that drive and ambition that you want in any squad. There’s some excellent pedigree in our backline now and Frank can be a real anchor. An astute player and one that we’re very excited about.”