Rapids Sign Argentine Claudio Lopez
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Friday, April 2, 2010) – The Colorado Rapids signed Argentine forward Claudio Lopez, the club announced today. Lopez will be added to the club’s senior roster pending receipt of his P1 Visa.
“Any time you can add a talented player like Claudio to your club, the group becomes better,” said head coach Gary Smith. “Claudio brings with him a tremendous amount of international experience at the highest levels and he has proven himself as a playmaker in our league. His presence and leadership in the changing room will be a valued asset to our club. Claudio will help us fulfill a lot of roles on this club and complement the talent we currently possess.”
Considered to be one of the most skillful Argentines of his generation, Lopez joins the Rapids after two seasons with the Kansas City Wizards. He began his Major League Soccer career signing with the Wizards on March 10, 2008, as the team's first Designated Player. In two seasons with Kansas City, Lopez recorded 13 goals and 15 assists in 57 games.
Before entering MLS, Lopez enjoyed a successful career abroad, having starred for Racing in his native Argentina before moving to Valencia in Spain in 1996. He enjoyed his most prolific period with the Spanish side, making 123 appearances with 42 goals in five years with the club. Lopez led the team to a Champions League runner-up spot in 2000 and also won the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa del Rey in 1999.
In 2000, Lopez was transferred to Italian Serie A side Lazio for $44 million - the third-highest transfer fee of that year and one of the top 50 most expensive transfers of all time. With Lazio, he scored 28 goals in 105 appearances before moving on to Club America, one of the most successful clubs in Mexico, in 2004.
With Club America, Lopez scored 27 goals in 87 games and helped the team win the 2005 Clausura and 2006 CONCACAF Champions Cup.
Lopez has 58 career appearances and 10 goals for Argentina's national team and appeared in both the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.
Claudio Lopez – Forward
Date of Birth: July 17, 1974
Hometown: Rio Tercero, Argentina
Last Club: Kansas City Wizards
Roster Status: Senior/International