TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
Minnesota United have acquired forward Ramon Abila on loan from Argentine powerhouse Boca Juniors, the club announced Wednesday. The deal includes a purchase option, while Abila has been added to the roster with Targeted Allocation Money.
Abila, 31, has 34 goals and 13 assists in 81 matches for Boca after joining in 2018. He's also featured for Brazilian club Cruzeiro, plus featured for Argentine side Huracan after coming through the Instituto academy. He has extensive experience in the Copa Libertadores and won the Argentine league twice with Boca.
“We’ve tried long and hard all offseason to bring in someone with a nose for goal — everyone knows that — and then Ramon became available,” head coach Adrian Heath said in a club statement. “Great goal-scoring record. He’s a big strong body, with good technical ability. He can do a bit of everything. Good with his back to goal, good at posting up, he’s got good movement in the box, very strong, very aggressive.
Abila, nicknamed "Wanchope" in his native Argentina, played with Minnesota star Emanuel Reynoso in Argentina, reuniting the pair in MLS. Reynoso joined the Loons last summer from Boca after a prolonged transfer saga.
"When the opportunity arose, we thought it was something we must take," Heath said. "The fact that he and Reynoso played together — and you saw the reaction when he came into the building with Rey — it’s a big teammate of his, big friend of his. But most importantly, we know he’s scored goals, he’s used to playing under pressure. Being the number nine for Boca Juniors comes with certain sorts of pressure and intensity and he’s been able to deal with that and has coped well in living up to that. If he can score the goals we think he will, we think he’s going to be another great piece for us.”
The center forward joins as the presumed starter, with Juan Agudelo and Foster Langsdorf the only other strikers on the roster. He's the key acquisition thus far this winter, following the likes of Wil Trapp, Jukka Raitala and more. The team also lost 2020 regulars Kevin Molino and Luis Amarilla.
“I liked the club, especially with what Bebelo [Reynoso] had told me about how things were going for him and what the team had accomplished last season,” said Ábila. “And, upon seeing the facilities and the league, all of that was seductive to me to come here to compete and to accomplish great things.”