The LA Galaxy confirmed on December 23, 2013, that it has loaned forward Jose Villarreal (right) to fellow 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinalist Cruz Azul. (Photo: Mexsport)
CARSON, California -- The LA Galaxy announced Monday that the club has agreed to loan forward Jose Villarreal to Mexico’s Cruz Azul, pending the finalization of an agreement between the 2013-14 CONACAF Champions League quarterfinalists.
Villarreal, who was introduced by Cruz Azul to the media on Saturday, appeared in 31 games for the club in all competitions this year.
Originally signed by the Galaxy in December 2011, the 20-year-old made his MLS debut in July 2012 and has scored three goals in 32 league outings.
Villarreal’s loan, which includes an option to buy for the Mexican club, is scheduled to run through the 2014 Apertura season.
“Sending Jose Villarreal to Cruz Azul provides one of our Homegrown players an opportunity to gain additional experience,” said LA Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena. “We’ll monitor Jose’s play with Cruz Azul and wish him well while in Mexico.”
Villarreal has also been a standout in international competition. In 2013, he helped the United States qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup by scoring three goals at the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, where he was named to the All-Tournament team. At the World Cup, he started in all three games for the CONCACAF runner-up.
In CONCACAF Champions League play, Villarreal has two career goals, netting against the Puerto Rico Islanders (August 29, 2012) and Costa Rica’s Herediano (March 13, 2013).
The LA Galaxy and Cruz Azul are scheduled to face Club Tijuana and Sporting Kansas City, respectively, in the CCL quarterfinals next year.