Abila training

Minnesota United FC added an important final-third piece on Wednesday when they signed forward Ramon "Wanchope" Abila via a season-long loan from Boca Juniors.

The deal was completed with Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) and carries an option to buy, giving the Loons their much-coveted No. 9 after advancing to the Western Conference Final in 2020.

The 31-year-old was linked with Minnesota in recent weeks, and he confirmed during an introductory press conference that Liga MX sides Cruz Azul and Club America also looked to sign him. But the Minnesota deal came together and their interest was hard to turn down.

"I was impressed with the interest the club showed in me," Abila said through a translator. The Liga MX offers, by comparison, "weren’t quite the ones I was looking for. They didn’t seem to be quite the right fit."

By signing with Minnesota, Abila reunites with former Boca Juniors teammate and longtime friend Emanuel Reynoso. The attacking midfielder departed Argentina for MLS last September, dazzling with his assist ability and a jaw-dropping free kick during last year's playoff run.

"We're from the same town in Cordoba, Argentina so we've known each other for a long time," Abila said. "When the opportunity was presented to come up here, Rey was in touch and just filled me in on the situation here and that made the decision easier for me and he’s definitely going to be a big help in the transition as well."

Now that Abila is officially with Minnesota, his focus shifts toward the 2021 MLS season. He said he's encouraged by the "increased attention of the league" and helping the Loons continue their upward trajectory.

The Reynoso-Abila connection should prove fruitful, too, with Abila notching 34 goals and 13 assists in 81 matches for Boca Juniors across all competitions. He's a pure goalscorer and joins forward Juan Agudelo as an offseason signing ahead of Minnesota's opener April 16 at the Seattle Sounders.

"What I enjoy most is scoring goals, and that's what I think I'm best at, whatever it takes to help the team," Abila said. "But really I'm there to help convert at the end of the play."

Advertising