The Earthquakes now have a “wand” and a Wondo.
Coach Mark Watson describes newcomer Matias Perez Garcia of Argentina as being like Merlin the Magician with his left foot.
“He can get past people and he’s got an absolute wand of a left foot from the run of play and from dead-ball situations,” Watson said. “We’re really excited to have him be a part of the squad.”
The 29-year-old Perez Garcia figures to add a touch of class, world class, to the team’s improving attack. The Quakes sizzled in a 5-1 win over the Chicago Fire on July 23, with Yannick Djalo playing effectively underneath and Chris Wondolowski up top. The team also showed well in a 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid on July 27, when Homegrown signee Tommy Thompson flourished.
Watson describes Perez Garcia as “a dynamic and technical player,” and just what the team needs.
“He can play a bunch of different forward positions,” Watson said. “He can play right underneath. He can play wide right, where he’s been playing mostly with Tigre in Argentina. He can make the final pass and he helps you in possession.”
Moreover, Perez Garcia, who can also play center midfielder, should help the club to keep pace in a league that keeps upgrading its product.
“In the club’s history we’ve never really gone out and bought a player,” General Manager John Doyle said. “This is a player that we’ve purchased. He wasn’t out of contract. He wasn’t injured. He wasn’t out of form somewhere. He was in top form in a very competitive league, and we were able, with our ownership, to use the funds necessary to sign him. He was wanted by a number of teams. He wanted to come to Major League Soccer, and we’re expecting great things out of him. It’s a really exciting time for the club.”
Watson keeps seeing the bar getting moved higher in MLS. He likes how the Quakes have responded by adding Perez Garcia.
“For me, the league is exploding,” Watson said. “Off the field, there’s some incredible things going on, but on the field as well, the talent level, the quality of players coming in, the overall level of play is just exploding. So he’s definitely going to help from our point of view in response to that.”
Doyle, who’s has been happy with how the team has played the last two weeks, said they’ve monitored Perez Garcia for the past six months and seen him play “tons of games.”
“He’s very versatile. He’s an attacking minded player with huge qualities,” Doyle said. “He’s a set-piece specialist. He’s great with set pieces; we haven’t really had anybody as far as free kicks go; Shea (Salinas) has done well putting in balls, but Matias can score goals off set pieces. So it’s nice. It’s something we’ve needed.”
- Richter Media