Lopez Signs with Wizards
Claudio Lopez, the Argentine striker who played in every match of his nation’s 1998 and 2002 World Cup campaigns has agreed to terms with the Kansas City Wizards and is ready to be unveiled after he passes a fitness test/physical and gets his immigration related paperwork in order. As we first broke two weeks ago, Friday (February 22nd) Lopez is the striker Kansas City Wizards coach Curt Onalfo has lined up to replace Eddie Johnson who was sold to Fulham during the January transfer window. Lopez has in all fifty eight caps for the Argentine National Team which is the second most caps any foreign player from what I consider a “Big Four” nation (Argentina, Brazil, Italy, and Germany) has ever had prior to signing with MLS. Roberto Donadoni had 57 caps when signing with the Metrostars in 1996 and earned six more while with the Metrostars and upon his return to AC Milan in 1998. Lothar Mattheaus had far and away the most caps of any MLS signing from a “Big Four” nation but Lopez is younger and apparently more eager to play in this league than was Mattheaus whose summer in New York was essentially a paid holiday where he still returned home for Euro 2000.
Lopez will be a designated player the source told me, which leaves Kansas City lots of allocation money remaining to circumvent their salary cap if necessary as we discussed in our initial reporting of the potential Lopez deal over two weeks ago. Lopez is pictured above from his time with America’ in Mexico City and becomes the third player from the Mexican super club to sign with MLS in the past year joining Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Duilio Davino.