San Jose signs River Plate midfielder Hernan Lopez – sources

The San Jose Earthquakes have signed Argentine attacking midfielder Hernan Lopez to a designated player contract, sources confirmed to ESPN, paying a club record transfer fee of around $6 million, which could rise to $7m if certain incentives are met.

The contract runs through the end of the 2026 season with club options for both 2027 and 2028. The transfer fee is more than double the previous club record of $2.9m for Carlos Gruezo prior to last season.

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The deal will be complete once Lopez’s International Transfer Certificate has been obtained, but was done in time to beat the closing of the MLS primary transfer window on April 23.

Lopez is a great-nephew of the Argentine legend Diego Maradona.

Argentine journalist Cesar Luis Merlo was first to report the news of Lopez’s signing.

The Quakes, with a league-worst mark of three points from nine league matches, need help all over the field, but signing an attacking midfielder was one of the team’s primary needs. Lopez will now be expected to be the primary supplier to attackers Cristian Espinoza and Amahl Pellegrino, as well as forwards Preston Judd and Jeremy Ebobisse.

Lopez, 23, arrives in San Jose having spent parts of the previous two seasons with Godoy Cruz, where he scored seven goals in 51 league and cup appearances. He first broke in with Argentine giants River Plate in 2019, having risen through the club’s academy ranks starting in 2014.

He was technically on loan with Godoy Cruz though Lopez’s player rights were evenly split between River and Godoy Cruz.