Miguel Ibarra has completed his return to Minnesota United in time for the club's MLS debut, while the expansion team also finalized the signing of forward Christian Ramirez on Thursday.
Ibarra starred for Minnesota in the NASL from 2012-2015 before moving to Mexican club Leon. Sources said an undisclosed transfer fee for his return was agreed earlier this week, while the Loons reportedly acquired his rights from the Portland Timbers in a trade involving goalkeeper Jeff Attinella.
"It means the world to me," the 26-year-old winger said. "This club has given me everything. These fans are the absolute best and I cannot wait to put on the Minnesota colors and represent the crest again. I'm happy and excited to be back home and can't wait to get started."
Ibarra made three appearances with the U.S. national team under former coach Jurgen Klinsmann. When he was first called up in 2014, he became the first player from a lower-division side to do so since 2005.
Ramirez, 25, has been been Minnesota for the past three years but signed his first MLS contract on Thursday. He was named to the NASL's Best XI team for three straight seasons and won the league's Golden Boot twice.
"It's been a dream of mine to play in MLS since I was younger and attended games in Los Angeles growing up," Ramirez said. "I know there will be an adjustment period coming into this league and I'm very excited about the challenge ahead and the opportunity to work with coach [Adrian] Heath and the rest of the coaching staff."
The duo are favorites among Minnesota fans, who have nicknamed Ibarra "Batman" and Ramirez "Superman."
"I'm extremely excited about these players," Heath said. "Christian and Miguel have proven themselves in this market before as both on-field and off-field assets.
"They wanted to be back here in Minnesota to be a part of what we are doing with this club and in this community. I can't wait to begin working with each of them."