SAN JOSE -- The Earthquakes acquired dynamic Benfica-Portugal midfielder/forward Yannick Djalo on loan for the 2014 season, pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and international transfer certificate, the club announced Monday.
Djalo, 27, a speedy winger with seven years experience in Portugal's first division and one in France's Ligue 1, has earned multiple cup titles with Sporting Lisbon over five seasons.
Djalo won't be available for the Quakes' match against Mexican power Toluca FC on Tuesday night at Buck Shaw Stadium in the home leg of quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. But he could play in the MLS season opener against Real Salt Lake on Saturday in Santa Clara.
"He can play up front or he can play wide. He's real fast," general manager John Doyle said. "He can come in on the ball technically well. He kind of fits all the boxes for what we were looking for. Hopefully he does well, which I think he will, and we're able, with the new stadium, to buy him in the next year."
An enthusiastic Djalo, who is 5-foot-6 and 140 pounds, did not hesitate when asked how he could help the Quakes.
"Basically scoring goals and assists, that's how I plan on helping," he said through a translator.
A product of the renowned Sporting Lisbon youth academy, Djalo thinks he'll fit in just fine in MLS.
"They play a very tactically-charged game here in America," he said. "It's a very physical game. I see similarities and differences, but there's definitely some space to be found on the field."
The Quakes consider Djalo, born in Guinea-Bissau, a country in West Africa, to be a change agent on a squad that lacked versatility up front at times in 2013.
"Very excited," coach Mark Watson said of landing Djalo. "We've been looking for a few players over the offseason to give us that little bit of quality, that little bit of dynamic movement to go forward. He fits both of those categories."
"They've got quality players in every position," Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch said. "They like to play with the ball. For us, it's going to be a big challenge defensively to stay organized and take our opportunities offensively."
Toluca, in second place in the Mexican league's Clausura competition, is a 10-time Liga MX champion. It boasts Mexican superstar Antônio Naelson Matia, known as Sinha. Toluca went 4-0 in the CONCACAF group stage.
"They're dangerous everywhere, that's why they're always at the top of the leader board or close to it," forward Chris Wondolowski said.
San Jose, which only lost once at Buck Shaw Stadium in 2013, advanced out of the CONCACAF group stage on goal differential after going 2-2 against Heredia-Guatemala and MLS club Montreal Impact.
In addition to Djalo, the Quakes added French league midfielder Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi and German right back Andreas Gorlitz in the offseason. After offseason foot surgery, Alan Gordon has progressed well and could see 20 to 25 minutes against Toluca.