On Wednesday morning, the San Jose Earthquakes announced the acquisition of Argentine forward Cristian Espinoza. Here are five things to know about the Quakes’ newest player:
- Espinoza joins on a season-long loan using Targeted Allocation Money from Villarreal of Spain’s La Liga. Unlike Brazilian midfielder Judson, who was announced last month, the Earthquakes do not hold a buy option and would have to negotiate a new loan or transfer in order to keep him beyond the 2019 season.
- Espinoza is a product of the Argentina Youth National Team system. He made 11 appearances for the Argentina U-20s, including eight as part of the 2015 U-20 South American Championship and three at the 2015 U-20 FIFA World Cup. He later made three appearances during the 2016 Olympics in Rio, which is essentially a U-23 competition.
- The 23-year-old made his professional debut at just 17 years of age with Huracán in his native Argentina. After tallying 11 goals and 11 assists in 53 appearances for Huracán, he was acquired by Villarreal in August of 2016 by way of a reported $8 million transfer fee.
- He has spent much of his time with Villarreal out on loan, including stints at Alavés (Spain), Real Valladolid (Spain) and Boca Juniors (Argentina).
- Espinoza tallied two goals and two assists in 17 games for Boca Juniors, making two appearances during the 2018 Copa Libertadores and helping them reach the final.