Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
Amando Moreno has traded the snow-covered streets of New Jersey for the sun-drenched roads in Tijuana.
The New York Red Bulls Homegrown Player has completed a permanent move to Club Tijuana on a free transfer, at little more than a year removed from signing his first professional contract. Though neither team has made a formal announcement yet, Moreno announced the news on social media and Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh confirmed that Moreno would be leaving the club.
“Amando was out of contract and decided recently to decline our offer to stay with the club. He and his agent chose to take this other opportunity,” Roxburgh said in a statement.
Sources have confirmed to SBI that the Red Bulls declined to pick up Moreno’s contract option, leaving him free to leave the club. Sources also confirm that the Red Bulls were in contract negotiations with Moreno on a new deal when he chose to become the latest American player at Club Tijuana.
In his first and only season with the Red Bulls in 2013, the 18-year-old forward made two appearances off the bench in stoppage time, while making an additional 11 appearances with the Red Bulls reserves, scoring one goal.
Moreno split his year with the Red Bulls first team, the academy squad, and the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team, where he played six times, scoring one goal.
When Moreno does officially join Xolos, he likely will not count on their books as a foreign player. Moreno’s father is from Mexico and his is from El Salvador, similar to his new teammate Joe Corona.
Moreno also joins U.S. U-18 teammate Paul Arriola as a young American forward signing with the Liga MX club instead of remaining in MLS. Currently Club Tijuana has seven American-passport holding players in their first team, including U.S. Men’s National Team players Edgar Castillo, Herculez Gomez, and Corona.
It remains unclear whether Moreno will join the Xolos first team, or Club Tijuana’s Under-20 team, though given Moreno’s lack of professional experience, a role with the U-20s appears more likely.
What do you think of this news? Surprised the Red Bulls let Moreno leave? Think he can make some noise at Club Tijuana?
Share your thoughts below.