It took a while to finalize things, but the Kansas City Wizards finally announced on Friday the signing of Designated Player Omar Bravo. The Mexican striker will join the team in 2011, after completing a loan with his current club, Chivas de Guadalajara, for the 2010 Apertura in Mexico.
The 30-year-old striker is a legend in his homeland. He has scored 106 goals for Chivas in his career, 16 shy of club record-holder Salvador Reyes. He has also notched 16 goals in 62 appearances for Mexico.
“Signing a player of Omar Bravo’s stature and ability is important for us,” Wizards President Robb Heineman said in a statement. “We know that to compete at the highest level we need to develop high-performance players and sign world-class players like Omar Bravo.”
As part of the Bravo deal, Kansas City and Chivas will play friendlies. The Wizards will visit to Chivas’ new Estadio Omnilife during their preseason, and Chivas will come north to Kansas City next summer to face the Wizards in their new stadium, which is currently under construction.
Bravo’s acquisition will address one of the biggest deficiencies in the Wizards’ current lineup: goal-scoring. The side has struggled to hit the back of the net this year. In 18 games, they have only 15 goals, second fewest in MLS, and they currently sit in 5th place in the Eastern Conference.
“We are very pleased to have signed Omar Bravo, who is an exceptional player,” manager Peter Vermes said. “Omar’s high-pressure, attack-oriented mentality will complement our style of play extremely well.”
Before that, though, Bravo has a date with history. Last week, Chivas became the second Mexican club ever to reach the final of the Copa Libertadores, the South American club championship. On Wednesday, Bravo went 90 minutes against Brazilian side Internacional in the opening leg of the final, as Chivas fell 2-1.
The return leg is next Wednesday in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
“I am very happy about joining Kansas City in 2011 and staying with Chivas through the finals of Libertadores and the Apertura,” Bravo said. “I want to win two more trophies for Chivas and then focus on bringing championships to Kansas City in Major League Soccer.”