One of the San Jose Earthquakes key contributors in 2016 will not be part of the team’s plans this season, as it was announced that Panamanian midfielder Alberto Quintero has agreed to a deal with Peruvian club Universitario.
The report came via the team’s social media account, welcoming the Panama international with a simple message of #BienvendioQuintero. The Lima based club also added Quintero’s fellow countryman Luis Tejada ahead of a campaign that will include participation in the Copa Libertadores later this week.
Quintero joined the Earthquakes ahead of last season on loan from his second division club Lobos BUAP in Mexico. He partnered very well with Panamanian teammate Anibal Godoy, and the two affectionately were nicknamed “The Panamaniacs” for their on field energy. He had three goals and four assists in 30 appearances, including a pair of goals in a 3-1 win against the Houston Dynamo in May that earned him a place on the MLS Team of the Week.
Quintero quickly established himself as a fan favorite in San Jose with his darting runs along the sidelines and his technical expertise on the ball. His stunning strike against FC Dallas last April beat out fellow Earthquake Chris Wondolowski for Goal of the Week.
The Quakes made it clear earlier this preseason that they were working to bring back Quintero for another season, but San Jose lost out in the end on securing the 29-year-old. General Manager Jesse Fioranelli stated that the team’s transfer window strategy was to sign players under the age of 30 with international experience, and Quintero fit the bill. Fioranelli also said to expect a couple more signings in the next 10 to 14 days.
Quintero visited San Jose over the weekend, even stopping by the Quakes training center as the first team was battling their Academy U-18s in a preseason scrimmage, and speculation grew that his return could be imminent. Instead, after saying his goodbyes to his former teammates, and enjoying a night out with Godoy and Panamanian defender Harold Cummings, Quintero left to join his new club in Peru.