SAN JOSE — After reports surfaced in South America last week, the San Jose Earthquakes finally confirmed the signing of Uruguayan right-back Pablo Pintos today via press release.
Earthquakes’ general manager John Doyle said of the signing:
“We are very happy to sign a player of Pablo’s quality. He is an athletic right back who should help us now and in the future.”
Pintos, 27, won’t be able to take the field for San Jose until the receipt of his work permit and international transfer certificate, but club officials hope to have the Uruguyan available for Sunday’s home derby against Los Angeles.
While the transfer had been reported for sometime, the club had not publicly acknowledged the move until today, with coach Mark Watson playing coy with reporters last week when asked about the new signing.
Pintos makes his way over from Uruguyan Primera Division club Defensor Sporting, the club where he began his professional career in 2006, and who he helped win a league title in 2007. In between his two stints for Defensor, Pintos made short stops for top flight sides in Argentina, Spain and Turkey.
Pintos is the second South American San Jose has signed this season, after the July 31st transfer of Argentinian midfielder Matias Perez Garcia.
The Quakes will hope Pintos can help with a late season playoff run, something Perez Garcia has been unable to do since being sidelined with a knee injury after only two games. Perez Garcia will likely be out of action for at least another two weeks.
Right-back has been an inconsistent position all season for San Jose. Following the departure of MLS All-Star Steven Beitashour this offseason, the Quakes seemingly filled the position when they acquired former German international Andreas Gorlitz. Gorlitz played in only three matches before suffering a season ending right-ACL tear.
Brandon Barklege replaced Gorlitz, only to be benched for Shaun Francis, who has been the first choice right-back in the second half of the season.
Pintos will bring an attacking threat to the full-back position, something San Jose has lacked on either side. Pintos likes to use his speed and acceleration to beat defenders down the right flank, but his ability with his left foot also allows him to cut inside defenders and put shots on target.
That speed and finishing ability can be seen in this highlight video.
Details of the contract were not disclosed per league and club policy.