Spanish club UD Almería announced Monday they have acquired attacker Brian Rodriguez from LAFC on loan with an option to buy. An LAFC spokesperson confirmed the news Monday afternoon, telling reporters the loan will last until the end of the current season for Almería in May and “could become a permanent transfer if certain performance thresholds are met.”
Brian Rodríguez: New UD Almería player!— UD Almería (@UDAlmeria_Eng) February 1, 2021
The Uruguayan pearl plays as a right winger and comes loaned by @LAFC with a buy option.
Welcome Brian! #brianrodriguezrojiblanco #vamosalmería pic.twitter.com/rdomCYswJf
Rodriguez, 20, was signed by LAFC in the summer of 2019 from Uruguayan club Peñarol, and was an immediate starter for the black-and-gold, helping them in lifting the 2019 Supporters’ Shield.
But Rodriguez, while his playing time was consistent, did not quite take flight for LAFC like his compatriot Diego Rossi, posting two goals and seven assists in 26 MLS regular-season games for LAFC. In 2020, across all competitions, Rodriguez scored three goals and seven assists in 25 appearances, which are decent numbers but paled in comparison to the likes of LAFC’s other Designated Players, Rossi and Carlos Vela.
Nonetheless, Rodriguez was considered one of LAFC’s top prospects to be sold to Europe, because he was already an established senior Uruguay international, and kept his place while playing in MLS.
It’s unclear if Rodriguez’s stint with Almería, who are currently in 3rd place in Spain’s second flight, will be a short six months or if the club will activate the purchase price. The club is close to an automatic berth for promotion to La Liga, but it’s risky for a player to stick around too long in the second division if he has truly elite aspirations.
It’s also unclear if Almería would pay a significant amount for Rodriguez, assuming his purchase price isn’t peanuts. But Rodriguez reportedly forced a move in recent days, telling radio stations in Latin America that he would not return to the United States, and that may have forced LAFC’s hand. It’s too bad if this is how it ends, but it’s also pretty rotten. Still, we’ll see what the future holds and whether Rodriguez ever plays for LAFC again.
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