Fire President Javier Leon had informed reporter during half-time of last week’s match against D.C. United that the team was close to signing a striker. On Tuesday, the team made it official, signing Juan Luis Anangonó, who had been on loan to Argentinos Juniors from El Nacional in his native Ecuador.
Anangonó, 24 years old, started his youth career with the Ecuadorian side Barcelona (no relation to the Spanish juggernauts of the same name) and spent time on the first team between 2007 and 2010, netting eight goals in fifty appearances. Anangonó’s scoring proficiency would get even better after transferring to El Nacional, netting thirty goals in just seventy-two games in Ecuador’s top-flight league. Due to complications with finalizing a Chievo Varona deal, El Nacional loaned Anangonó to the Argentinos Juniors of Argentina, where the striker scored five goals in thirty-two matches. Cumulatively, between league, cup and international play, the Fire’s new forward has scored forty-three goals in one hundred and fifty-four matches, or approximately one goal per 3.5 matches.
Anangonó adds another dimension to the Fire attack, and the Fire provided a career highlight reel of their newest designated player (link), and Leon praised the young striker’s talent and ability to remain with the team well beyond 2013. “Juan Luis is a young, up-and-coming goal scorer who is technically gifted and can hold the ball well,” said Leon. “He provides us with attacking options and will bolster our squad, not only for the second half of the season, but for the future.”
The Fire never made it a secret that they intended to pursue another striker, though they currently do have plenty of production coming from the position. Mike Magee scored a goal in each of his first seven matches with the club in all competitions, shattering the previous record of just two, and has not slowed down significantly, as his twelve goals in league play are tied with Camilo atop the Golden Boot race. Playing up top with Magee, Chris Rolfe could be moved back to the midfield, though he did score twice in the first half in the Fire’s 4-1 victory over D.C. United on Saturday. Sherjill MacDonald is likely to be loaned out, and despite being a designated player, he has rode the bench for a majority of the 2013 season.
Anangonó will be added to the roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and his P1 Visa, according to the team press release. As is league policy, the terms of the deal were not disclosed, though it can be expected that the salary will be relatively high considering the Designated Player status.