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Official: LAFC sign midfielder Jose Cifuentes

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Ecuador’s breakout star of the U-20 World Cup joining MLS.

Italy v Ecuador: Third Place Play-Off - 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

It’s official: Los Angeles Football Club have signed midfielder Jose Cifuentes, announced on Monday. The 20-year-old joins as a Targeted Allocation Money signing from America de Quito, with LAFC sending $100,000 in General Allocation Money to Orlando City SC for the player’s MLS discovery rights.

Cifuentes was part of the Ecuador U-20 roster that made a surprise deep run in the U-20 World Cup in Poland last year, and he was arguably La Tri’s breakout player from that tournament. He played alongside LAFC defender Diego Palacios, and also knocked out new LAFC teammates Brian Rodriguez and Francisco Ginella, who played for Uruguay, in the knockout rounds.

“José was one of our top offseason priorities after very strong showings for his club and on the international stage,” said LAFC EVP & general manager John Thorrington in a team statement. “We’re confident that he will fit in seamlessly into our system, and we are very pleased that he’s chosen to continue his professional career with LAFC.”

Cifuentes, a full Ecuador international now, has not played a ton of first-team soccer so far, but he had reportedly drawn interest from the likes of Manchester City and Celtic before LAFC signed him. LAFC’s interest in South American young talent continues, with Cifuentes joining Rodriguez, Ginella, Palacios, Diego Rossi, Eduard Atuesta and Eddie Segura on the roster. It’s an exciting move and we’ll see what happens in his first season in MLS.

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