York9 FC announced on Monday the addition of Adrián Ugarriza, a 23-year-old striker who comes to Canada from Peruvian side Alianza Lima, pending an international transfer certificate and work permit.
The Peru native has a wealth of top-flight experience in his home country, most recently helping Alianza to the Liga 1 playoff final in 2019.
He has 52 career appearances in the top division, having previously played for other Peruvian clubs in Universitario, Real Garcilaso, and UTC Cajamarca. He also saw action in three games of last season’s Copa Libertadores, South America’s most prestigious club competition.
Ugarriza has represented Peru at several youth levels, earning 11 caps for the U-20 team between 2015 and 2017.
“Adrian’s signing is another important milestone as we assemble the 2020 roster. He is a player who immediately caught our eye when we looked at him. (Coach) Jimmy Brennan used his network of contacts and got more positive feedback so it was an easy decision,” York9 Managing Consultant Angus McNab said.
“We have a multi-year option on his contract and he is another player where we benefited from the league’s support with their international recruitment program in conjunction with the 21st Club.”
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The CPL’s centralized scouting system of young internationals (age 23 and under) is run by the league’s soccer operations department and the 21st Club, a world class data and analytics group with offices in London, San Francisco and Singapore.
Canadian journalist Peter Galindo, a noted observer of South American soccer, believes Ugarriza’s move to Y9 could be a major step in his career development.
“Ugarriza was a vital member of Peru’s youth national teams thanks to his ability to involve his teammates and unlock space with his movement. However, he never earned the necessary minutes at club level with Universitario or San Martín, mainly because he’s never been a prolific scorer. Once he joined UTC and former Peru coach Franco Navarro, Ugarriza thrived as a target man in a 4-2-3-1,” Galindo told CanPL.ca.
“He’s not the most athletic player, but he works hard off the ball and will be a handful for defenders. York9 FC’s dynamic wingers should combine nicely with the Peruvian if he’s deployed in a similar role as he was with UTC during the 2018 season.”
York9 struggled to finish from within the box at times in 2019, so Ugarriza could certainly be a major addition to their attack.
Ugarriza is York9’s seventh new signing for 2020, joining fellow internationals Gabriel Vasconcelos, Fugo Segawa, and Nicholas Hamilton, as well as local newcomers Michael Petrasso, Chris Mannella, and Matthew Arnone.
This latest addition brings York’s total roster up to 18 players ahead of the 2020 season.