Updated: 24 February, 2012 @ 9:44 p.m.
It’s been strangely silent the past few weeks in the Colombian press on the issue of whether Jose “Pepe” Moreno will join the New England Revolution. New England Soccer Today has tried to get updates from Moreno’s club Once Caldas with no success after an initial response.
On Friday, however, El Tiempo, Colombia’s leading newspaper, reported Moreno must leave Once Caldas because club President José Manuel López did, in fact, sign the papers for him to join the New England Revolution on loan. The report confirms what the Revolution have asserted all along – all the papers were signed to make the loan official.
Meanwhile, the Sports Editor of La Patria (the local paper of Once Caldas), Osvaldo Hernández, tweeted that Once Caldas will no longer use Moreno, as the player has a contract with MLS.
El Once Caldas no utilizará más a José Pepe Moreno. El jugador tiene un contrato firmado con la MLS, algo acordado con el Once Caldas.
— Osvaldo Hernández (@osvaldoinforma) February 24, 2012
According to the Revs, Moreno’s loan takes effect starting March 1.
The Revs originally reported signing the Colombian striker on February 2nd, but on February 7th reports surfaced the Moreno intended to stay with Once Caldas. Revolution President Brian Bilello confirmed all the paperwork to complete the loan had been signed, but that the team had been unable to contact the 30-year-old Moreno as of February 9th. On February 13th sources in Colombia indicated the Revs were suing Moreno for breach of contract, though those reports appear to have been premature.
The 6-foot-0 journeyman striker has already changed clubs or gone on loan a dozen times in his career, playing for nine different clubs, and his scoring record is inconsistent. His current club, Once Caldas, finished first in the top division of Colombia in 2011 with Moreno scoring 8 goals in 20 league games.
While finding accurate stats at all the various clubs Moreno has played at proves a difficult task, it appears the forward hasn’t scored over 10 league goals in a season for any club in at least the last five years. Moreno’s best years seemed to come with Millonarios Fútbol Club and América de Cali from 2004 to 2006.
The Colombian rode his goal scoring exploits in 2005 and 2006 to time with various teams outside of the country in nations such as Ukraine, Argentina, Romania and Peru. Moreno would actually see some UEFA Champions League action as a late sub in a 4-1 Dynamo Kiev loss to Steaua Bucuresti in 2006.
The 30-year-old, however, failed to stick with any club before returning back to Colombia in 2011. Now he appears set to move teams for the 13th time in his career to join the Revolution.