COLUMBUS, Ohio - Columbus Crew General Manager Mark McCullers announced today that The Crew has acquired Guatemalan midfielder Mario Rodriguez on loan from Municipal of Guatemala.
Rodriguez's deal is pending approval of his work permit. Per team and league policy, no terms of the deal were disclosed. He will be classified as a Youth International.
Rodriguez, 23, is a regular starter on the Guatemalan National Team and spent the 2004-2005 season with Municipal in the Guatemalan First Division. He has appeared in at least 32 games with the Guatemalan National Team, including nine World Cup qualifiers.
"I want to personally thank Gerardo Villa, President of CSD Municipal, Hugo Salcedo, and the League office for all their hard work in getting this done," said Crew Head Coach Greg Andrulis. "We are thrilled to add a quality person and player such as Mario Rodriquez to our team. He has proven that as a player he can be successful at the highest level. He has been an outstanding player for both club and country and I'm sure that success will continue as a member of the Crew. We look forward to having Mario and his family join us as soon as the necessary paper work is completed."
Rodriguez spent the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons with Comunicaciones before moving on to Municipal. He helped Municipal capture the UNCAF and Guatemalan Apertura '05 titles. The 5-9, 155-pound Rodriguez was nicknamed "El Loco" by ex-teammates who claimed he ran like a crazy man all over the field in every game.
"I am not afraid of this new challenge, better yet, I am very happy and motivated to demonstrate why they have signed me in Columbus," said Rodriguez.
The Crew will kick off year No. 10 of Major League Soccer on April 2 at Columbus Crew Stadium, when the Black & Gold face the Los Angeles Galaxy at 7:30 p.m.
MARIO RAFAEL RODRIGUEZ RODRIGUEZ
Born: 9/14/1981 in Guatemala City, Guatemala (23)
Hometown: Guatemala City, Guatemala
How Acquired: Signed by The Crew on March 22, 2005