The Philadelphia Union revealed today that the team has acquired Porfirio Lopez, the first transfer in a long time that the club has managed to keep secret before the official announcement. The signing will go through once the team receives Lopez's International Transfer Certificate and P-1 visa.
Lopez has played mostly in Costa Rica, his native country, throughout his career, after debuting with Santos de Guapiles in 2005. He has also spent time at Puntarenas, Dalian Shide (a top league team in China) and Liga Deportiva Alajuelense. The 26-year-old played against fellow new Union signing Josue Martinez in Costa Rica's top league playoff semi-finals, with Lopez's side progressing to the finals.
At 5 feet, 11 inches, Lopez brings some height to a defense that head coach Piotr Nowak declared was needing some taller players. While not currently playing internationally for his country, something that is unlike most of the Union's recent additions, Lopez brings a left foot at the left back position and allows Philadelphia to push Gabriel Farfan into his natural attacking midfield role on the left side of the midfield.
The signing of the left back comes out of nowhere after the team was linked to French fullback Cedric Fabien. Already at 11 internationals, it seems highly unlikely that the Union will sign another international player due to the league's restrictions on international players on rosters.