Following the transfer of midfielder Magnus Eriksson back to his former club in Sweden, we checked in with Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli about his plans in the summer transfer window and upcoming offseason.
What was the reasoning behind Magnus Eriksson’s departure?
“It made more sense to transfer him now considering our future roster plans as well as from a financial perspective. The latter was not the primary goal of ours but Magnus‘ contract was going to expire in December. Following several talks, we felt that Djurgarden’s proposal was a win-win for our club and for Magnus who wanted to return to his family and to his former club.”
How will Eriksson leaving affect the team for the rest of 2020?
“Let’s remember that Magnus was not a typical No. 10. He grew into the role in his own way and we trust so will the next player. Matias has several options and will evaluate and test our attacking line in the upcoming matches. Fortunately, our game is not and will not be dependent on a single player, and while the team’s overall game identity will remain the same, we believe that a fresh player can create a fresh spark. Maybe, over time, this change can even produce a slightly different look and feel when we attack. Secondly, the group is compact and has proven to be able to take adjustments head on. In Orlando, they showed how committed they are to a collective cause bearing in mind the drastic adjustments we faced inside the bubble. Our team has more grit today. We were the last MLS squad to start training, by several weeks, and yet we were one of the most aggressive teams out there.”
Is the team planning on making any additions during the summer transfer window?
“Yes, I expect us to make one or two signings in the next month and a half, and another one or two signings in the winter. I say this also because the market conditions allow us to be more aggressive and selective as we integrate players into the 2021 roster ahead of time. First, we will want to see the responses we get from our players as the season progresses. The focus will be on strengthening both our defense and our attack.
“This transfer period is atypical in many ways. In terms of timing, it’s opening two months later due to COVID-19 and will only be two and a half months apart from the winter signing window. As these two windows unwind, we’re noticing market conditions improving and the player pool widening favorably. We do have to expect some delays due to travel restrictions and player quarantining.
“What matters most to us is fully integrating each player to keep strengthening our squad.”
What leagues/parts of the world is the team scouting the most?
“We’re not scouting specific markets but rather specific positional profiles. Our scouts are covering over 15 markets throughout North and Latin America as well as Europe. In the last three years, they’ve covered over 2,000 players and have created position and contract-specific shortlists which we segment into three age categories and then compare against one another.”
In an ESPN interview last month, Chris Wondolowski had shared his consideration in potentially playing in 2021. Have there been talks with him on that?
“Yes, and those conversations are ongoing. Chris is in great shape and he is so committed to the club’s cause, his team and his teammates. Our talks are less about an end date and a start date but, more importantly, how we can ensure that he transitions successfully when the time is right. We prepared ourselves for this last year when we extended the contract with this in mind. Chris has already started to embrace the transition on and off the field. I just wish everyone could see more of it.”
Can you provide us with an update on Benjamin Galindo?
"Given the gravity of Benjamin’s incident, we have to bear in mind that a full recovery takes patience, care and lots of therapy. Benjamin is a big part of our family. He has a heart of a lion and his progress is noticeable from a physical and cognitive standpoint. Matias, the coaching staff and I are in regular contact with him.”