The Seattle Sounders FC have acquired Uruguay National Team midfielder Alvaro Fernandez, it was announced today. Fernandez, 24 played in four matches for semifinalist Uruguay during the recent 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Fernandez qualifies as the club's third Designated Player. His signing will be finalized upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate. Fernandez has not yet been added to the active roster. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Fernandez started for Uruguay in the quarterfinal against Ghana and was a substitute in wins over South Africa, Mexico and South Korea. La Celeste took fourth in South Africa, its best finish since 1970. He has been capped 11 times by Uruguay-including appearances in six qualifiers-since his debut in 2008.
"I'm very excited to be playing in the U.S. because the football has grown a lot in the last few years and keeps getting better," said Fernandez. "Seattle is beautiful and I think it's the ideal place to be with my family. All these things helped in making my decision."
"Alvaro is a versatile player who can play in a number of midfield positions," said Sigi Schmid, Sounders FC head coach. "He brings good energy to the game as well as World Cup experience. He can score and also set-up others."
Fernandez played the 2010 season for Chile's Universidad. Universidad, located in Santiago, finished second in the Primera Division and is currently in the semifinal stage of the Copa Libertadores, the South American club championship.
Said Fernandez: "My goals are always the same whenever I join a team: try to help, on and off the field; help the club achieve its goals; and, obviously, win championships. I believe I can contribute through my experience. I describe myself as a fast, smooth player, who can play on either flank. I am strong in the air, and I work very hard."
"Alvaro is experienced internationally and he has demonstrated a tremendous work rate and great tactical awareness," said Chris Henderson Sounders FC technical director. "He likes to connect passes, possesses good pace and moves well off the ball."
Fernandez earned his first selection by the Uruguay National Team while playing for Nacional. In addition to national team play, Fernandez has top-flight experience in Uruguay, Mexico, Portugal and Chile. In 2009 Nacional won the Uruguayan Primeria Division and reached the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores.
Transaction: Seattle Sounders (MLS) - Signed MF Alvaro Fernandez
Birthplace: Soriano, Uruguay
Last Club: Universidad de Chile (Chile; on loan from Nacional) 2010
Previous Clubs (chronological): Atenas (2006), Montevideo Wanderers (2007-08), Puebla (Mexico, 2008), Nacional (Uruguay, 2008-09), Vitoria Setubal (Portugal, 2009-10)
Alvaro Fernandez Career Statistics
Season GP/GS (Goals)
2007 Clausura Montivideo Wanderers 13/12 (2)
2007 Apertura Montivideo Wanderers 15/13 (0)
2008 Clausura Montivideo Wanderers 15/15 (1)
2008 Apertura Puebla (Mexico) 12/12 (0)
2008 Apertura Nacional 1/1 (0)
2009 Clausura Nacional 9/8 (3)
2009 Vitoria Setubal (Portugal) 9/6 (0)
2010 Universidad (Chile) 11/9 (1)
Totals 85/76 (8)