HIGHLIGHTS: Welcome, Marcos Lopez!

SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has acquired 19-year-old Peruvian left back Marcos Lopez and signed him to a multi-year contract using Targeted Allocation Money. Lopez will occupy an international spot on the Quakes’ roster, pending receipt of his P1 Visa and ITC.

“We’re very excited to welcome a young player of Marcos’ caliber to San Jose,” said Earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda. “His impressive play over the last few years gives us confidence that he’ll be an important contributor for us in the present and future.”

The left-footed Lopez comes to San Jose from Sporting Cristal Lima of the Peruvian first division. In his first full season with the side in 2018, he led Sporting to a 25-7-11 regular season record and +62 goal differential, both of which were easily the best in the league. The Lopez-led defense conceded just 36 goals in 43 games (0.84 avg.), seven fewer than any other team, and helped them earn qualification to the Copa Libertadores group stage. He made 21 starts in 23 total appearances, scoring five goals.

“For several months, we have put a lot of effort in scouting a left back that can have an immediate impact on both offense and defense,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. “Marcos was a crucial player for Sporting Cristal, where he helped them win the Peruvian first division by contributing as a full-back, his natural position, and subsequently as a winger. Despite his young age, Marcos has already earned his spot with the national team under Ricardo Gareca. He held offers from European and South American clubs, which is why I am excited that Marcos committed to joining the Quakes on a long-term basis before the upcoming South American U-20 Championship.”

Lopez originally joined Sporting Cristal Lima in August of 2017 from Universidad San Martín de Porres, also of the Peruvian first division.

Lopez competed for Peru at the 2017 South American U-20 Championship, starting all four group-stage matches and competing against players such as Argentina’s Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), Brazil’s Richarlison (Everton), Uruguay’s Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus) and Venezuela’s Yangel Herrera (Manchester City). As the youngest member of Peru’s squad during the tournament in 2017, he is age eligible to compete in the U-20 tournament again in the coming weeks.

He earned his first call-up to the senior national team in August of 2018, making his debut as an 18-year-old on Sept. 9 against Germany. Lopez is the youngest player to debut for Peru under head coach Ricardo Gareca, who took over in February of 2015.

Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) – Earthquakes acquire Peru International left back Marcos Lopez and signed him to a multi-year contract using Targeted Allocation Money.

Marcos Lopez

Position: Defender

Height: 5-9

Weight: 148 lbs.

Born: Nov. 20, 1999

Preferred Foot: Left

Hometown: Callao, Peru

Last Club: Sporting Cristal Lima (Peru)

College: N/A

Roster Designation: International