The San Jose Earthquakes made their first new signing of the offseason on Wednesday, announcing they have acquired midfielder Eduardo “Chofis” Lopez on loan from Chivas de Guadalajara. The loan is for one year, plus a provision to extend the loan an additional six months by the Earthquakes, with an option to purchase his contract at the end of that period.
¡Bienvenido, Chofis!— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) January 20, 2021
NEWS: Earthquakes acquire Mexican midfielder Javier Eduardo Lopez on loan from @Chivas.
Lopez, 26, joins the Earthquakes after spending his entire professional career previously at Chivas, making his debut in 2013. The left-footed attacking midfielder has played over 200 times for Chivas across all competitions, and played for Earthquakes boss Matias Almeyda in Guadalajara from 2015-18, the duo helping to lead Chivas to a Liga MX title, two Copa MX titles, and a Concacaf Champions League title in that span.
“We have followed Eduardo for two years and he is as excited to come to San Jose as we are to bring him,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli in a team statement. “He is a dynamic attacking midfielder in his prime and will be competing for a team other than Chivas for the first time in his career. We’re confident that he will benefit from the opportunity to reunite with Matias, who he previously flourished under. We thoroughly evaluated this transfer over the past few months and appreciate Chivas’ effort and transparency throughout the process.”
“I’m very happy about this new opportunity,” said Lopez. “Coming to San Jose is something very exciting for my career, for my family, even for my friends. It’s something new in my life. I’m going to give it my all. I’m eager to learn more about San Jose and to join the team. It will be a great joy to have Matias as a coach again as I know him better than any other coach I’ve played for. I also know by doing the right things, he will continue to help me in all aspects of my career.”
Lopez has a reputation in Mexico for being mercurial, and he is considered at present to have no future with Chivas, after being at a house party in which a separate teammate was accused of committing sexual assault. All of the players who were at that party were effectively banished from the club, although all accounts are that no other players were involved in the assault.
So the player needed a change of scenery, but this could prove invigorating in more ways than one. Not only will he get to play, presumably, in San Jose, he’s reunited with a favorite coach and he’ll be playing in a new league. If he’s up for the unique challenges of MLS, he could find the lifestyle and generally lower profile to be better for his state of mind and game.
At the same time, if this move doesn’t work out, the Earthquakes have the ability to end the deal after a year, so it’s a rather low-risk/high-reward proposition. If he plays well, then the club can pick him up permanently, and if he doesn’t, then they can walk away. I think his track record with Almeyda, a demanding coach in terms of fitness, effort and determination, means Lopez should get the benefit of the doubt coming in. But time will tell, as it always does.
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