Football

USMNT midfielder Luca de la Torre set to sign for LaLiga’s Celta Vigo

USMNT midfielder Luca de la Torre set to sign for LaLiga’s Celta Vigo
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United States international and Heracles midfielder Luca de la Torre is on the brink of being transferred to LaLiga side Celta Vigo for a fee of around $2 million, sources have told ESPN.

Marca was the first to report that the American is heading to Celta.

One source indicated that De la Torre, 24, is set to travel to Vigo and will have a medical on Friday. If all goes well, he will officially sign with the club.

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The deal, if completed, would amount to a significant step up in competition for De la Torre, after spending the last two seasons in the Netherlands with Heracles, the most recent of which ended in the club’s relegation to the Eerste Divisie.

Spain is a highly technical league that few American players have played in. Current Celta manager Eduardo Coudet is familiar with American soccer, however, having played for the Philadelphia Union in MLS and the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers of the now defunct North American Soccer League.

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Last month, De la Torre told ESPN that he had an agreement with Heracles that he would be transferred after his second year with the club, regardless of the division the club was playing in. All told he made 64 league and cup appearances for Heracles, scoring two goals.

« There’s always been an agreement between myself and the club that I would transfer this summer, with one year left on the contract, » he told ESPN during last month’s slate of games with the US men’s national team.

Heracles’ relegation, combined with the fact that the US is headed to the World Cup in November, made the move necessary for De la Torre, who is eager to cement his spot on the US team ahead of this November’s World Cup in Qatar, after making a late climb up the US depth chart.

Since the start of 2022, he’s made seven appearances — three of the starts — while recording two assists. In that time, he has impressed US manager Gregg Berhalter with his technical ability in the center of midfield, and it’s very likely he’ll be on the plane to Qatar. He has 11 appearances total with the US

A native of San Diego, Calif., De la Torre played for high level youth sides Nomads Soccer Club and the San Diego Surf. He moved to English side Fulham in 2013, progressing through their academy and making his professional debut in 2016. But a lack of playing time with the Cottagers meant leaving for Heracles, where he succeeded in proving that he could play on a consistent basis.

« It was a really great move for me, » he told ESPN last month. « I played a lot of minutes in a really good league, and I put myself back into the picture for the national team, which was the whole point of making that move in my career. »

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