San Jose Earthquakes land Portuguese winger Yannick Djalo on season-long loan from Benfica
While most MLS clubs were dealing with their season openers this past weekend, the San Jose Earthquakes were busy putting the finishing touches on a loan for a winger from Benfica.
The Quakes announced Monday that they have acquired Benfica midfielder Yannick Djaló on a loan through the end of the MLS season, pending the arrival of his P-1 Visa and international transfer certificate. The 27-year-old Djaló has been with the Portuguese powerhouse since 2012, but spent last season on loan at Ligue 1 club Toulouse.
Djaló also has experience playing in the UEFA Champions League and one cap with Portugal's national team, which came back in 2010.
“We’re excited to announce the signing of Yannick,” said Earthquakes head coach Mark Watson in a statement. “There was a lot of work and time spent scouting in the offseason, and we feel like we have a very good player in Yannick. He adds a versatile, attacking dimension to our team. He can operate as an attacking midfielder, but also has the pace to get behind defenders.”
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Djaló, who is 5-foot-6 and weighs 140 pounds, began his career in Sporting CP's renowned youth academy before working his way up to the first team for the start of the 2006-07 season. He made his debut in September 2006 and went on to score 31 goals across all competitions for Sporting, which won numerous cups during his six-year stay.
“I’m excited to bring in a player of Yannick’s quality," said Earthquakes general manager John Doyle in the same statement. "His attacking flare and experience should be a welcome addition to the team."
San Jose host Liga MX power Toluca in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday (10 pm ET, Fox Sports 2), then open their 2014 campaign on Saturday with a home game against Real Salt Lake.