MLS Moves: Quakes land Peruvian teenage star Marcos Lopez in coup

MLS's San Jose Earthquakes pulled off what could be one of the top offseason signings with the transfer of 19-year-old Peruvian defender Marcos Lopez.

Lopez, who signed a multi-year deal using Targeted Allocation Money, helped Sporting Cristal run away with the 2018 Peruvian league title after it won the Torneo Verano and Torneo Apertura, the first two of the three seasons, then crushed Alianza Lima, 7-1, on aggregate in the final. Lopez scored the first goal in the 4-1 away win in the first leg.

"We're very excited to welcome a young player of Marcos' caliber to San Jose," said Earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda in a club statement. "His impressive play over the last few years gives us confidence that he'll be an important contributor for us in the present and future."

Lopez, 19, debuted for Peru's national team in September.

"For several months, we have put a lot of effort in scouting a left back that can have an immediate impact on both offense and defense," said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. "Marcos was a crucial player for Sporting Cristal, where he helped them win the Peruvian first division by contributing as a fullback, his natural position, and subsequently as a winger. Despite his young age, Marcos has already earned his spot with the national team under Ricardo Gareca. He held offers from European and South American clubs, which is why I am excited that Marcos committed to joining the Quakes on a long-term basis before the upcoming South American U-20 Championship."
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