United acquire U.S. National Team midfielder Paul Arriola with highest transfer fee in club history

United have acquired U.S. National Team midfielder, Paul Arriola, from Liga MX side, Club Tijuana, on a permanent transfer, to a multi-year Young Designated Player contract. The transfer fee marks the largest amount the organization has paid to a foreign club in franchise history, breaking the record set last offseason when Luciano Acosta was signed from Boca Juniors. Completion of the transfer is pending the receipt of the player’s International Transfer Certificate. United acquired Arriola’s rights from the LA Galaxy in exchange for $300,000 in general allocation money ($200,000 in 2018 and $100,000 in 2019) and $200,000 in targeted allocation money in 2018.

“We have had an eye on Paul for a while, and his intelligence, pace, technical ability and bright future with the national team make him a perfect fit for this organization as we continue to bolster our roster,” Dave Kasper, United general manager and VP of soccer operations, said. “Thanks to the investment from ownership, we’re extremely excited to have secured a high-caliber U.S. international for the long term.”

Arriola joins Major League Soccer after spending the last four years in Liga MX with Club Tijuana. The Chula Vista, CA, native made over 100 appearances in all competitions for Xolos, and made his Liga MX debut on July 19, 2013 as an 18-year-old. Less than a week later, he scored in the CONCACAF Champions League. Most recently, Arriola scored the game-winning goal for Tijuana on Tuesday in the Copa MX.

The versatile forward has represented the United States at every level, culminating in his senior team debut on May 22, 2016, against Puerto Rico, where he scored and had an assist. Arriola became only the ninth player in U.S. history to score a goal in his first two international matches when he scored the Yanks’ final goal in their 4-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago in September’s World Cup Qualifier (which also happened to be his WCQ debut). 

“This is a significant day for the club, and securing a player with a future as bright as Paul’s signifies the incredible momentum this club has, not only for the remainder of this season, but as we move into our new home at Audi Field,” Jason Levien and Erick Thohir, United managing partners, said. “A world-class venue needs world-class talent, and Paul is yet another example of the commitment we have for bringing in exceptional players that will represent the Black-and-Red for years to come."
Arriola most recently played an integral part of Bruce Arena’s CONCACAF Gold Cup-winning squad, starting four matches (including the final).  Arriola has amassed 11 caps with the national team in just over a year.

According to MLS roster guidelines, he will carry the Mid-Season Young Designated Player salary budget charge of $150,000 (towards the salary cap) for the remainder of 2017.