LA Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney has labeled the club’s capture of Spanish midfielder Riqui Puig as ‘one of the most significant’ transfers in MLS history.
Puig joined the Galaxy earlier in August, ending a nine-year spell at FC Barcelona where he rose through the youth ranks and went on to play 57 times at senior level.
Yael Averbuch West hosted none other than Christian Fuchs for the latest episode of Football Americana. The Charlotte FC captain provided insight into the creation of Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team, and bringing European culture into the American side.
But after being told he was not part of Xavi’s plans, Puig decided the Galaxy and Major League Soccer was the best place to revive his career – a huge compliment for the league given the midfielder’s quality.
“I’ve been around the league a long time, since the beginning. We’ve just made arguably one of the most significant signings in the history of the league,” Vanney told reporters. “To have a young player of his quality to come from the club he was at where he already had success – to choose the Galaxy, to choose MLS to continue to grow his career – is immensely humbling and a huge recognition for the league.”
Barcelona retain a fixed price buyback clause and a 50% sell-on clause, so clearly still believe Puig is destined for big things.
However, Puig himself is focused only on the present. Still just 23 years old, he is certain MLS is the right place to continue his development and believes he won’t be the last to make such an eye-catching choice.
“I like to take risks,” Puig said. “This is a good opportunity.”
He added: “This is a league for young players. Trust me, in the coming years you’ll see more young players coming to this league.”
Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.