TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
UPDATE (Jan. 19) – Some attacking help coach Miguel Angel Ramirez hinted at the start of Charlotte FC's preseason camp came to fruition Wednesday with winger Cristian Ortiz joining the expansion side on a loan from Liga MX's Club Tijuana.
The 29-year-old Argentine, nicknamed Titi, joins for the 2022 season with a purchase option. Ortiz previously played for Ramirez at Ecuador's Independiente del Valle in early 2020, logging 31 games.
"Cristian is a creative, dynamic midfielder who is a game-changer that creates goals and is a set-piece specialist. He is someone we know very well as he spent a year with Miguel at Independiente del Valle," sporting director Zoran Krneta said in a statement.
“He has been a high-level performer across multiple leagues in South America and was productive in major competitions like Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana," Krneta added. "His addition will add an exciting element to our attack that fans will love, and we’re delighted to welcome him to Charlotte.”
ORIGINAL (Jan. 15) – Charlotte FC are closing in on signing Club Tijuana winger Cristian Ortiz, according to a report from Argentine journalist Cesar Luis Merlo.
A source confirmed to MLSsoccer.com that the expansion side is interested in the player and that a signing is expected in the coming days.
Ortiz, 29, has made 17 appearances in Liga MX for Club Tijuana after joining from Ecuadorian side Independiente del Valle, where he scored 19 goals and provided 10 assists in 50 all-competition appearances.
Charlotte manager Miguel Ángel Ramírez used to lead Independiente del Valle, and the MLS newcomers have already dipped into that connection when signing midfielder Alan Franco on loan from Brazilian Serie A club Atlético Mineiro. Similarly, the Spanish manager coached U22 Initiative signing Vinicius Mello during their mutual time at Internacional in Brazil.
Ortiz's arrival would bolster Charlotte's attack as they prepare to debut in 2022 with a Feb. 26 road matchup at D.C. United.