The San Jose Earthquakes have bolstered their backline with the signing of defender Oswaldo Alanis on a one-year loan with the possibility to extend his stay stateside, a move officially announced Tuesday by the club.
Alanis, 30, joins from Chivas, where he was in his second stint, this one far more rocky than the first. Getting his start in the Mexican second division with Estudiantes Tecos in 2007, he moved to Santos Laguna in 2012, winning two Liga MX titles before moving to Chivas the first time in 2015, winning another league title, two Copa MX titles, and the Concacaf Champions League in Guadalajara alongside current Earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda.
With the first half of 2018 being his peak to date, Alanis tried his prospects abroad, signing with Spanish club Getafe that summer but oddly being released a month later, without having played a game. Scrambling, he signed a deal with Spanish second-division side Real Oviedo, and spent a season there, before returning to Chivas last summer.
A full Mexican international, he has established himself as a center back for El Tri, making 23 appearances since 2014.
Alanis appeared to be unsettled for some time after returning to Mexico, with reports in the local press claiming he had been sent to the reserves amid rumors he was seeking a move elsewhere. With the Quakes, he’ll get the chance at a fresh start, in a new league, with the manager who he found the most success with in his career to date.
I spoke to Tom Marshall, a Mexico-based soccer journalist at ESPN, about Alanis, and he gave a succinct breakdown of the player’s Spanish sojourn and his game.
Alanis pushed really hard to leave Mexico for Europe, but since it didn’t work out at Getafe and he dropped to Real Oviedo before he’d even made a La Liga debut...Alanis has over 20 caps for Mexico and was close to making the 2018 World Cup. Alanis isn’t the most natural of defenders, but he is good in the air in both penalty areas, very strong on the ball playing out the back, something he excelled at under Almeyda at Chivas and likely why the Argentine pushed for his signature. Also watch out for his set pieces. Alanis struck up a good understanding at Chivas with Jair Pereira, who isn’t too different in style to Guram Kashia.
While nothing is guaranteed, I’d be surprised if Alanis is not the starter the majority of the time this year for the Earthquakes. At his best, he can be a very good defender, but he’s had a few bumps in recent years. That said, that can potentially give him the motivation to really make an impact in San Jose and MLS overall.
What do you think about the Oswaldo Alanis signing? Let’s chat in the comments below!