- Justin Grimm
Khangarid FC Sells GK Saikhanchuluun to Ulaanbaatar City
Today Ulaanbaatar City FC announced the signing of national team goalkeeper Amarbayasgalan Saikhanchuluun from Khangarid FC before the close of the transfer window. Acccording to the player's MFF profile, he had been with the club since 2009. The Erdenet-based Khangarid received a transfer fee of 2 million MNT for the player.
Ulaanbaatar City FC announced that Saikhchuluun will be the first-choice goalkeeper entering the season. The 3-year contract includes compensation of 3 million MNT per season and a Toyota Prius.
The 21-year-old goalkeeper (born 28 August 1996) has earned one senior international cap, playing the entire match in the team's 2-4 friendly loss against Tawain on 5 October of this year. He also featured in all three of Mongolia's matches in 2018 AFC Under-23 Championship qualification earlier this year, including the hard-fought 2-2 Draw with Thailand. Last year, with Khangarid FC, Saikhanchuluun ranked seventh among league goalkeepers with a 72.9 save percentage. He ranked last in the league in total saves with 27. However, that is a misleading statistic as many variables are involved.
Saikhchuluun will be the first Mongolian goalkeeper to be named starter for the club in its short history. Interestingly, his two predecessors were both Italian. In 2016, the club signed journeyman Giacomo Ratto who had left AC Taverne in Switzerland a few months prior to signing for the Ulaanbaatar club for its debut season. His career also included stops in Italy, Malta, Panama, Nicaragua, and Fiji before Mongolia. For the 2017 season, the club brought in Mauro Boerchio from Malta's Gzira United to replace his compatriot. Boerchio performed well in the league, finishing in second place among league goalkeepers in overall save percentage with 81.3%.
No announcement of Boerchio's departure was announced but the club alluded that the player's next destination may be Australia.
Saikhchuluun joins Otgonbayar Oyunbaatar and Norjmoogiin Tsedenbal who have also signed contracts with the club this offseason.