SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Former UC Santa Barbara defender Michael Boxall is returning to Major League Soccer, inking a deal with Minnesota United FC.
An internationally capped player with New Zealand, Boxall has spent the past four seasons playing in the Australian A-League and South African Premier Soccer League after being selected first overall in the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft by Vancouver Whitecaps.
With the ability to play multiple positions on the back line, Boxall will immediately join the team pending receipt of his ITC and P-1 Visa. With the Loons, he will be playing alongside former UCSB star winger Ismaila Jome, who signed with the club before the 2016 season.
"We are really pleased to have added a player of his quality. He is a versatile player, can play right back, can play center back," said MNUFC head coach Adrian Heath. "He's got experience on the international stage with New Zealand and he's gotten better as his career has progressed. We think he is a player who is going to push everybody for a starting role on this team moving forward, we know he is champing at the bit to get going."
Boxall most recently played for SuperSport United in South Africa, making 53 appearances for the club over the past two seasons. Prior to his stop in Pretoria, Boxall spent two years playing with Wellington Phoenix in his native New Zealand.
At the international level, Boxall has received 27 senior caps, second-most among defenders on the current roster. He made his international debut at the age of 17 with the New Zealand U-20 team.
Boxall played at UCSB from 2007-10, where he was a fixture at center back. A strong four-year career culminated in All-America and Big West Defender of the Year honors as a senior in 2010, a season in which he led a UCSB defensive corps that allowed just 0.77 goals per game with 10 shutouts.