On Tuesday, the New England Revolution announced the signing of Ecuadorian attacker, Cristian Penilla. The player joins on a one-year loan from Liga MX side Pachuca with an option to buy following the end of the season.
According to the club's official press release, Penilla will be added to the roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa. With Kei Kamara exiting the club and joining the Vancouver Whitecaps, Penilla's versatility may allow him the opportunity to have an immediate impact at his new club.
Cristian Penilla started his professional career with C.D. ESPOLI, a club in his native country of Ecuador. During his time with the club, Penilla appeared over 60 times and scored 8 goals. Then came 2012 when Penilla moved to another Ecuadorian side, S.D. Quito.
At Quito, Penilla managed to get on the field 12 times and scored a goal for the club before moving to Barcelona S.C. Barcelona plays in Ecuador's Serie A, during his spell there, Penilla managed 65 appearances for the club, his most for any club to date, and bagged 12 goals.
While with the club, Penilla earned his first ever Ecuadorian National Team call-up. In 2014, Penilla scored his first goal for his country at Red Bull Arena in a 5-1 win over El Salvador.
In 2015, Penilla was bought by Mexican club Pachuca, where he is currently on loan from. He made 28 appearances for the club and added 4 goals before being loaned back out to former club Barcelona Sporting Club. In just fourteen appearances during the loan spell, Cristian scored an impressive 7 goals.
Following his loan to Barcelona SC, Penilla was loaned out to Liga MX side Monarcas Morelia. The Ecuadorian native made 19 appearances for the club and assisted three times. Finally, following the tragic events of the Chapecoense plane crash in late 2016, Penilla joined the club for the 2017 season. While with the club, Penilla made 14 appearances before being loaned out to the revolution ahead of this upcoming season.
During his eight-year career up until this point, Penilla has made over 200 appearances between his spells in Brazil, Ecuador, and Mexico while playing over 10,000 career minutes. The experiences Penilla has had up to this point should benefit him during his time with the Revolution.
The Revs General Manager, Michael Burns started off by saying “We believe Cristian is a player with the ability to immediately compete for a significant role in New England.” Burns furthered that by saying “His wealth of experience at a highly competitive level makes us feel Cristian will be a great asset to the club’s attack as we begin the 2018 season.”
Quotes via RevolutionSoccer.net