The San Jose earthquakes made their first sign of the off-season on Wednesday, announcing they had loaned midfielder Eduardo “Chofis” Lopez from Chivas de Guadalajara. The loan has a term of one year plus a provision to extend the loan for an additional six months following the earthquake, with the option to purchase his contract at the end of that period.
NEWS: Earthquakes to borrow Mexican midfielder Javier Eduardo Lopez from @Chivas.
– San Jose Earthquake (@SJEarthquakes) January 20, 2021
Lopez, 26, joins the earthquake after having previously spent his entire professional career at Chivas, making his debut in 2013. The attacking midfielder with his left foot has played for Chivas over 200 times in all competitions and played for the earthquake boss Matias Almeyda in Guadalajara in 2015-18 led the duo Chivas to a Liga MX title, two Copa MX Titles and a Concacaf Champions League title.
“We’ve been following Eduardo for two years and he’s just as excited to be coming to San Jose as we are to bring him,” said Jesse Fioranelli, general manager of Earthquakes, in a team statement. “He is a dynamic attacking midfielder in his prime and will be playing for a team other than Chivas for the first time in his career. We are confident that he will benefit from the opportunity to reunite with Matias, under whom he previously thrived. We have thoroughly evaluated this transfer over the past few months and appreciate Chivas’ efforts and transparency throughout the process. “
“I’m very excited about this new opportunity,” said Lopez. “Coming to San Jose is very exciting for my career, for my family, even for my friends. There is something new in my life. I will give everything. I’m excited to learn more about San Jose and join the team. It will be a great pleasure to have Matias back as a coach as I know him better than any other coach I’ve played for. I also know that if he does the right things, he will continue to help me in all aspects of my career. “
Lopez has a reputation for containing mercury in Mexico and he currently has no future with Chivas after attending a house party where a separate teammate was accused of sexual assault. All of the players who attended that party were effectively banned from the club, although all reports state that no other players were involved in the attack.
So the player needed a change of scene, but this could prove invigorating in several ways. Presumably, not only will he be playing in San Jose, he will be reunited with a favorite coach and he will play in a new league. When facing the unique challenges of MLS, he might find that the lifestyle and generally lower profile are better for his state of mind and game.
If this step doesn’t work, the earthquakes could end the deal after a year. So this is a rather low-risk offer with a high reward. If he plays well the club can pick him up permanently, and if he doesn’t they can leave. I think his track record with Almeyda, a demanding trainer in terms of fitness, exertion, and determination, means Lopez should take advantage of the doubt. But time will tell, as always.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.