Late Tuesday, the San Jose Earthquakes announced the signing of Brazilian forward Eduardo Adelino da Silva. Better known by his footballing name Eduardo, the 30 year old former FC Basel player has been training with the Quakes since the preseason started in January. As is custom with MLS, the league did not disclose the terms of his contract.
It was no secret that the Earthquakes hoped to land the talented forward. General Manager John Doyle spoke highly of the Brazilian to Center Line Soccer two weeks ago, where he revealed negotiations were ongoing. After the signing was announced, Doyle told the Associated Press that "Eduardo will bring a lot to our club. He has proven that he can score goals in quality leagues around the world and we think that he will have success in MLS also."
One of four winter signings the club has indicating they are targeting, Eduardo will immediately compete with regular starters Cornell Glen and Ryan Johnson at the top of Coach Frank Yallop's starting line-up. Given some of the injury problems from last season, and the likelihood that players will face injury concerns at times this season, Eduardo will provide depth at the forward position. If he immediately cracks the starting XI, the most likely to drop to the substitutes' list is Ryan Johnson. If that happens, Coach Yallop is sure not to mind having the Quakes' 2009 Golden Boot winner as his first attacking option off the bench.
Having observed Eduardo in training over the last few weeks, I have been impressed with his skill given his size. In small-field scrimmages, he has shown an ability to hold up defenders while looking for the pass or creating space to get off a shot. When receiving the ball in space, he shows great agility for a big man, and was able to keep the defenders guessing as to what he would do next with the ball. On two memorable occasions, skillful footwork left his 1 v. 1 defender lunging at air as Eduardo delivered dangerous crosses from the wings into the box. With both physical and agile skill-sets, Eduardo should bring more control to the pace of the Quakes offense. Ultimately, that should help create more goals in the season ahead.