Holly's Caleb Stanko joins FC Cincinnati after 8-year career in Europe

Detroit News staff
Caleb Stanko, 25, of Holly has joined Major League Soccer's FC Cincinnati on a transfer from German Bundesliga side SC Freiburg.

Caleb Stanko of Holly has joined Major League Soccer's FC Cincinnati from Bundesliga side side SC Freiburg on a transfer.

The MLS club, which starts play this spring, announced the move Wednesday.

"We are happy to add Caleb to our roster," FC Cincinnati coach Alan Koch said in a written statement. "We look for versatility in our central midfielders and we feel he can fill a number of roles depending on the personnel we have on the pitch. We look forward to Caleb competing immediately with our group."

More:Holly's Caleb Stanko forges path in German game

Stanko, 25, who starred at Oakland Christian High for four years, bypassed a chance to play at the University of Michigan to pursue a pro career in Europe.

The midfielder played eight seasons with SC Freiburg and one season on loan with Swiss League side FC Vaduz (2016-17).

The Vardar SC product made his first team debut in a German Cup match against HSV Barmbek-Uhlenhorst in 2015. Last season, he appeared in his first Bundesliga contest, playing 90 minutes against Schalke on Nov. 4, 2017.

Stanko made six Bundesliga appearances with SC Freiburg. He has three goals and 10 assists in 141 appearances in 141 matches, most of those with the German club's reserve and U19 sides. 

This season, he made one appearance with SC Freiburg II in a Regionalliga Sudwest match.

Stanko has one cap with the U.S. National Team, appearing in a World Cup qualifying match against Trinidad and Tobago Sept. 7, 2016. He's also captained the U.S. U-20 team in Concacaf and World Cup competitions.