The New England Revolution announced this mourning that they have signed Ecuadorian attacking midfielder Cristian Penilla on loan from Liga MX side Pachuca for the 2018 season with an option to transfer him outright in 2019.
Penilla began his career in his native Ecuador, first with ESPOLI, then Deportivo Quito, and finally to Barcelona SC. It was while he was at Barcelona that he made his two appearances for the Ecuadorian National Team in friendly matches, one against the USMNT and one against El Salvador in which he scored a goal. Penilla then moved to Pachuca where he played for a season before being loaned back to Barcelona.
After a season back at Barcelona he was loaned out to Monarcas Morelia in Liga MX and he was most recently on loan at Chapecoense in Brazil’s Serie A on loan. While at Chapecoense Penilla made 14 first team appearances and helped the club to qualify for round two of the 2018 Copa Libertadores.
Penilla has scored a decent amount of goals from the midfield in his career, but the vast majority of those have been either in his native Ecuador or in Mexican cup competition against inferior opposition. He did not score while on loan with Chapecoense. We’ll see how he gets on in MLS action.