Defender Anibal Chala (pictured) joined FC Dallas from Ecuador's El Nacional on December 14, 2016. (Photo courtesy of FC Dallas)
FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas announced Wednesday that it signed 20-year-old Ecuadorian left back Anibal Chala from El Nacional.
Since 2013, when he was just 16, the speedy Chala made 116 league appearances for the Ecuadorian first division side. He was also a member of the Ecuadorian under-20 national team in 2015.
“First of all I want to thank FC Dallas for the opportunity,” said Chala. “I’m very happy and ready to come here and show what I’ve got and give the trust you’ve given to me back to the club. “[Getting into the national team] is a personal goal that I would like to achieve and this is another step. I want to thank Dallas for the trust and hopefully I will achieve that goal.”
Chala’s acquisition initiates what’s expected to be a busy off-season for Dallas, which will be competing against Arabe Unido in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, starting at home on February 23.
“We’ve been watching him for about a year and when you come up with a player like this, who has been with his youth national team and you have an opportunity to grab him, you grab him,” FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo said. “This was an area we needed to improve and bring someone in, so it was easy for us to make the decision. The fans are really going to be excited when they see him play.”