Earlier today I wrote about some of the similarities that Saturday’s match had with a game about this time two years ago away at LA, with the Fire once again traveling to take on the high-scoring, league-leading team in LA.
With Friday afternoon’s news of the Fire acquiring midfielder and Designated Player Alvaro Fernandez from Seattle Sounders FC, let’s just add another to the list.
WATCH: Fernandez volleys home vs. Red Bulls
The transaction mirrors the move made between the two clubs which saw Freddie Ljungberg join the Men in Red two days before a 3-2 victory at the Galaxy on August 1, 2010.
“We had the opportunity to get a quality player, one that’s played at the highest level in the World Cup,” Klopas said about the trade from San Jose Friday afternoon.
“He’s had three very successful years in Seattle, he gives a lot to the team going forward and provides a lot of technical ability. He’s good on set pieces because of his height but he’s very strong on the ball and adds a lot of strength to our squad.”
Like in the instance two years ago, Fernandez was expected to join his new team ahead of their weekend game on the west coast, this time ahead of Saturday night’s match at San Jose.
There was an extra day for Ljungberg to get to Los Angeles (he trained with the team before) and with the late timing of the deal Friday, there’s no indication whether or not he’ll dress.
A member of the Uruguayan squad that finished fourth at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 26-year-old was the second DP signing for the Fire this week after Sherjill MacDonald was announced on Tuesday.
Along with international experience Fernandez brings proven success as an MLS attacker from his three seasons in Seattle, tallying 16 goals and 10 assists across all competitions which includes two U.S. Open Cup titles (one last year against the Fire) and a run to the quarterfinals of this year’s CONCACAF Champions League.
Though thought first as a right midfielder, Klopas expects to move him amongst the attacking midfield options that include Marco Pappa, Patrick Nyarko, Chris Rolfe and Alex.
“We plan to use him all over. He’s a two-way player that gives a lot to the team going forward. He can play on the right or left and in an attacking role. You have a player that gives you another option, some flexibility to do different things.”
As for any similarities between the trading instance two years ago and Friday, the Fire head coach chalks it up to timing.
“A lot of things happen towards the end of the transfer window. You have to remain open to options. We saw the opportunity to improve our squad and work was done to make it happen.”
And we can all hope for a similar result at Buck Shaw Stadium Saturday as we saw in Carson two years ago.