Orbelin Pineda moves from Chivas to Cruz Azul
Dec 18 2018 - 21:45
Orbelin Pineda played his final match with Chivas on Tuesday, with the midfielder announced as the newest signing of Cruz Azul in the afternoon.
Pineda took part in Chivas' two matches at the Club World Cup, both Saturday's defeat to Kashima Antlers and Tuesday's loss on penalty kicks to Esperance. The 22-year-old's exit from the Guadalajara institution had been rumored for several weeks, and the club wasted little time in announcing his departure.
Minutes later, Cruz Azul announced it has signed the two-way midfielder, who already has amassed more than a dozen Mexico national team caps.
"I want a new challenge in my career and today is the time to undertake the journey in search of this opportunity, that’s why I’m taking on this decision with the same level of responsibility as when I arrived at Chivas, aware that the red and white colors have been and will be part of my life," Pineda wrote on Twitter.
¡OFICIAL!— CRUZ AZUL FC ® (@Cruz_Azul_FC) December 18, 2018
🇲🇽 Orbelín Pineda se ha convertido en refuerzo de La Máquina y portará los colores de Cruz Azul a partir del Clausura 2019.
¡Bienvenido a tu nueva casa @orbelin90 !#LlegóLaMáquina pic.twitter.com/AIuyU30DgS
Pineda had been seen as one of the rising stars on the national team after helping Chivas to the league-cup double in the 2017 Clausura and later winning the Concacaf Champions League with the club in 2018.
However, he missed out on Mexico's World Cup team after seeing a dip in his form for both club and country. Pineda was in and out of the starting lineup for Chivas during the tournament, playing the full 90 minutes nine times in the 17-match season for Chivas.
The new start may be what Pineda needs. Cruz Azul topped the regular season table in the Apertura with summer signing Ivan Marcone and Rafa Baca generally playing together in the midfield. Javier Salas started in the final in favor of Baca, but Pineda could be a strong weapon next to Marcone, an excellent ball-winner. Marcone also has been linked with Villarreal this offseason.
Chivas have embarked upon an offseason overhaul, signing forward Alexis Vega from Toluca, center back Hiram Mier from Queretaro and midfielder Dieter Villalpando from Necaxa. They also signed winger Javier Lopez to a new deal but bid farewell to veteran center back Carlos Salcido and loaned forward Jose Juan Macías to Leon. The club also announced the departure of fullback Edwin "Aris" Hernandez on Tuesday.
While Cruz Azul contested the final Sunday, there's little time to rest. The Liga MX Clausura begins January 4.