[MLS: Thursday]In need of an offensive spark, the San Jose Earthquakes have signed 29-year-old Argentine Matias Perez Garcia as only their third Designated Player. The signing of the former Tigre star represents a change in approach for the Quakes, who have often relied on the physical presence of Steven LenhartandAlan Gordonto break opponents down.
Perez Garcia scored 13 goals in 63 games over the last two seasons with Tigre, his seventh Argentine club during a career that has also seen him play in France (Niort) and Chile (Universidad de Chile).
The Quakes' other Designated Player is Chris Wondolowski, whose contract was upgraded after the 2012 season. Their only other DP, Brazilian Geovanni, played half a season in 2010 but did not have his option picked up for the 2011 season.
Neither involved a significant outlay up front in terms of a transfer. Reports out of Argentina suggested the Quakes paid $2 million for Perez Garcia. San Jose president Dave Kaval told the San Jose Mercury-News that the Quakes was investing millions of dollars in the Argentine, "which is something the club has not done in the past."
Perez Garcia is the latest in a line of Argentine playmakers to join MLS. Javier Morales has been in the league with Real Salt Lake since 2007, but Federico Higuain joined Columbus in 2012 and Diego Valeri signed with Portland in 2013