San Jose Earthquakes sign Argentine forward Andres Rios

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing

The San Jose Earthquakes strengthened their attacking group with the signing of Argentine forward Andres Rios using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM), the club announced Tuesday.

“He is a great person, a great professional and someone who is extremely excited to join the group,” Earthquakes coach Matias Almeyda said in a statement.

The 29-year-old Rios most recently competed with Racing Club, which won the Argentine Primera Division title.

“Our main goal was to continue to reinforce the team’s growth in the short and long term,” Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli said in a statement. “Andres is a versatile striker with distinct attacking qualities that we were looking for. It also helps that Andres is a player that our coaching staff is very familiar with, both to successfully integrate him into the team midseason, as well as to help him gain a full understanding of how we play. He has played in many competitive leagues and will be an important addition for us as we look to finish the season strong and grow the squad competitively beyond 2019.”

Rios came up through the youth ranks at River Plate and made his professional debut there at the age of 17. After seven years with the Argentine powerhouse, which included 12-month loans to Polish champions Wisla Krakow (2010-11) and Deportivo Cuenca of Ecuador (2013), where had a breakthrough season with 21 goals and eight assists in 40 appearances.

In Jan. 2014, he was then signed by Club America where he had one goal in four appearances before being loaned to Leones Negros, where he made 22 appearances.

The former Argentine youth international returned to his homeland in Jan. 2017 to join Defensa, where he had seven goals and an assist in 34 games. The following summer Rios signed with Brazil’s Vasco de Gama. He had 10 goals and two assists in 45 league appearances and recorded a trio of assists in 12 matches as part of Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana.

Rios returned to Racing in January, but playing time dwindled and he made just two appearances.

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