Vicente Sanchez jumped at the chance to join Colorado despite interest from four other countries
For the past two days, Uruguyan forward Vicente Sanchez has watched the Colorado Rapids train from the sidelines, where he has been working with the team's fitness coach, Paul Caffrey.
Sanchez, who arrived on Wednesday, is not yet signed. But he's optimisitc that he could join in full team training next week.
"I still need to take the physical exam, (and) take care of some paperwork," Sanchez said after his workout on Friday. "I'm hoping that next week, if everything goes well, we could be announcing my arrival to the team. But we still need to take care of some details."
The veteran forward who has played in Mexico, Germany, and Uruguay jumped at the chance to come to Major League Soccer, despite having offers from teams in four other countries.
"What I liked is that the league in the United States has improved so much," Sanchez said. "There are players who have played here and done very well - like Juan Pablo Angel. So that motivated me. I had a chance to back to Mexico, to go to Colombia, to Argentina or to stay in my country. But when I talked with Oscar (Pareja), he got me interested in the project. It's a team with good people, a very good team which is aspiring to achieve big things in the tournament."
Sanchez is no stranger to MLS play. While with Toluca and Club America in Mexico, the 33-year-old played numerous games against MLS teams and in the United States in friendly matches.
He's also had success playing and adapting to different styles and different cultures. After scoring 85 goals with Toluca, Sanchez played three seasons in the German Bundesliga with Schalke before returning to Mexican giant Club America for three years. In 2012 he returned to his native country to play with Nacional, with which he just completed preseason training this past week.
Wearing the newly available #7 training top, Sanchez closed out his workout with a shooting drill where he one-timed shots into the goal with both feet.
"I take care of myself and I went through preseason," Sanchez said of his fitness level. "Then the idea to come here came about and I didn't think about it twice. I'm very happy and hopeful that next week we can resolve the pending issues so that I can be available."
Rapids coach Pareja is hopeful that Sanchez can be a key player during the stretch run to the MLS Cup Playoffs.
“(Sánchez) is someone who could bring us a little bit of experience," Pareja said earlier this week. "We need that. We want to keep building on the youngsters but I think that it’s always welcome to have people leading by example, and pushing. People who have been around, but can still perform and help.”
"The season is coming to an end," Sanchez said. "The team is playing very well and there are very good people in this group, so I hope to adapt as quickly as possible."