The Colorado Rapids made their second big South American splash of the offseason on Thursday, acquiring 22-year-old Argentine attacking midfielder Martín Rivero on loan from Argentine club Rosario Central.
Rivero figures to contribute immediately as a creative No. 10-type player that the Rapids have made little secret of their desire to pursue since the attack-minded Oscar Pareja took charge of the club last month.
“Martín is a very dynamic midfielder, just creating – he fits in the philosophy of the team,“ Pareja told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Thursday. “At the same time, he provides a lot of contact with the ball. His technique will be the first characteristic that will be noticed with him.”
Rivero caught the attention of scouts with a four-goal outburst over the summer for Rosario Central and, according to Pareja, the Rapids have long had their eye on the 5-foot-9 playmaker.
“We saw Martín play for Rosario Central and saw he was a dynamic player,” Pareja said. “We saw he can provide us with a lot of creativity and we started making contacts.”
By leaving Argentina for Colorado, Rivero leaves behind boyhood club Rosario Central of Argentina’s second division (Primera B Nacional). The deal took weeks to complete due to visa complications, but with the agreement finally in place, Pareja isn’t going to look back on the lengthy process of luring Rivero to the US.
“Sometimes things get complicated because of visas, [but the] bottom line is we got the deal done,” Pareja said.
The Rapids have also been linked to US national team striker Eddie Johnson – who is returning to MLS after reaching a deal with the league and will go into the allocation process – as Pareja looks to add creativity and offensive firepower to his squad, who open regular-season play on March 10.