TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Loan
Espinoza, 23, most recently played on loan at Boca Juniors. He hasn't made a senior appearance at Villarreal after signing for the club in 2016 for a reported fee of $8 million. He began his career with Huracan in his native Argentina and has spent time on loan with Valladolid and Alaves in Spain before spending 2017/18 with Boca.
“Cristian’s signing is the result of a collective effort over an extended period of time as both the player and Villarreal strongly believe that he will benefit under Matias’ guidance,” Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli said in a media release. “When we outlined the qualities that we sought in an attacking player, namely to add speed and versatility both on and off the ball, Cristian checked all the boxes.”
Espinoza has spent much of his career as a right winger, though he's also played on the left and through the center, as a striker and withdrawn forward.