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SOCCER

America signs 'El Hobbit' from Atlante

America signed Christian Bermudez, also known as "El Hobbit," on Saturday from Mexican rival Atlante.

Bermudez, 24, had played with Atlante since 2006 but the Mexican international joins America for the Clausura season. The 5-foot-3 Bermudez has played four matches for Mexico, but missed last summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The midfielder was among five Mexican players suspended from the event for a banned substance but the players were later exonerated by FIFA.

America finished just three points off the bottom of the recently-completed Apertura season, but new manager Miguel Herrera - who used to coach Atlante - brought his former player in as he looks to turn America's fortunes around.