[MLS TRANSACTIONS] Juan Luis Anangono became the latest Ecuadoran to sign with MLS as the Chicago Fire acquired the 24-year-old striker, who spent his last season on loan to Argentinos Juniors in Argentina. Montreal also landed a Designated Player playing in Argentina as it signed midfielder Hernan Bernardello, who was on loan last season with Colon.
While the recent record of Ecuadoran imports in MLS has been somewhat spotty, the Fire is high on the 6-foot-1 Anangono, who scored five goals for Argentinos Juniors, Diego Maradona's old club, after spending six seasons in Ecuador, three with Barcelona and three with El Nacional.
“Juan Luis is a young, up-and-coming goalscorer who is technically gifted and can hold the ball well,” Fire president Javier Leonsaid in a statement. “He provides us with attacking options and will bolster our squad, not only for the second half of the season but for the future.”
The recent form of forwards Mike Magee and Chris Rolfe, who combined for three goals in Saturday's 4-1 win over Chicago, will allow Fire coach Frank Klopas to break in Anangono cautiously.
Bernardello made one appearance for Argentina in 2009 and moved to Spain's Almeria the same year from Newell's Old Boys for a $4 million transfer fee. But after three seasons in Spain, he returned to Argentina to play for Colon.
The Argentine players union reportedly was seeking to block Colon's acquisition of players on the transfer market unless the club resolved a dispute with Bernardello and teammates. In the last week, Bernardello had been linked with moves to Estudiantes in Argentina and Puebla in Mexico before joining the Impact.
"We are very pleased to have finalized the acquisition of a player who has played at the highest levels," said Impact sporting director Nick De Santis in a statement. "He fits in well with the identity of the club and we believe he will play an important role for us moving forward. Hernan has consistently played between 25 and 30 games a season over his career. He is a player with great quality in midfield that covers a lot of ground, all while displaying great technical skills and great ability to relaunch attacks. He plays the game with a lot of passion and emotions."