Less than a day before the 2016 MLS SuperDraft gets underway in Baltimore, MD -- a draft in which the experts predict they will select a defender with the #8 oveall pick -- the San Jose Earthquakes announced the signing of 29-year-old Argentinean defender Andres Imperiale. He is expected to arrive in San Jose following the receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate.
The left-footed Imperiale most recently played for Costa Rican powerhouse and perennial CONCACAF Champions League participant Deportivo Saprissa, where he featured primarily at center back, but also saw minutes at left back. Both positions are areas of need this off-season for the Quakes, and the ten-year professional is expected to compete for a starting role on the left. Imperiale joins Jordan Stewart and Shaun Francis -- his competition at left back -- as the only predominantly left-footed players on the Earthquakes roster.
"Andres is an experienced player that we think will be a good addition to the team," said Earthquakes general manager John Doyle in a club statement. "We have a strong core group of defenders and Andres will fit right in."
Prior to Saprissa, Imperiale played for clubs in the highest divisions of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. He has not featured on the international level for his home country during that time, but at the club level he has twice played for league champions. One of his former teammates at Saprissa has a connection to the Earthquakes -- defender Ramon Martin del Campo spent time with the Quakes U-23 team in 2014 before going unpicked in the MLS SuperDraft in early 2015.
The Argentinean is listed at 6'1" and 172 lbs -- slightly smaller than both incumbent center backs Clarence Goodson and Victor Bernardez, but larger than outside defenders Stewart and Francis. Imperiale has scored two goals each for his past two clubs.
Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) - Earthquakes sign D Andres Imperiale.
Born: July 8, 1986 in Rosario, Argentina
Hometown: Rosario, Argentina
Last Club: Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica)