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Report: Paul Arriola drawing interest from MLS, Netherlands, Portugal

Photo by Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

Paul Arriola’s Gold Cup performance has drawn attention from teams scattered throughout the world.

According to Goal USA, the Club Tijuana winger has become a target of teams from the Netherlands, Portugal and MLS. The report says a half dozen teams in MLS have registered serious interest with one of them being Real Salt Lake.

The report adds that Club Tijuana is open to selling the U.S. Men’s National Team winger, but a move to MLS could be made more complicated by his current status within the league.

Arriola’s rights are currently owned by the LA Galaxy via what the report says is a “dubious” Homegrown claim. Prior to moving to Mexico, the winger trained with the Galaxy for several training sessions, giving the Galaxy the right of first refusal on any MLS move for Arriola. The recent signing of Jonathan dos Santos would make a move unlikely, but it remains a hurdle nonetheless.

During his Gold Cup run, Arriola helped lead the USMNT to the tournament trophy, starting in both the semifinal and final matches.


  1. I disagree with quozzel in that I think either Holland or Portugal would be a bit of a step up from Liga MX. Another thing is that if he does well in one of those leagues, it is very easy to transition from Holland to the Bundesliga or EPL and to go from Portugal to Spain. He should go to one of those places and decide on the basis of the status of the club making the offer and how much money they are offering. As it is now, he actually lives at home in the southern San Diego area and commutes to Tijuana, so this would be a major life change for him. Will he be willing and able to leave his friendly confines to go to Europe? We will see.

  2. A player like Arriola needs to be very careful about transferring to a New League at this point in the cycle. Any transfer needs to be done in such a way that he’ll obtain consistent minutes this season.
    Right now he is a likely selection for the 23 if/when the USMNT qualifies for the WC; but if he goes to a new club and gets benched he could drop out of the 23. For this reason I think he needs to stay in TJ for this season, than look for a new team.

    • Don’t disagree with u but on the flip side new coach, probably new formation and missed all of preseason so who knows where he stands at Tijuana right now

      • That’s what makes me think this rumor might have legs. Seems odd with a new coach that they would just let him miss preseason and Week 1.

  3. Wherever Arriola ends up he needs starting minutes and good competition to increase his personal level of play. Any fringe player making a clube move this year needs to consider how important it is to improve themselves on the field leading up to the World Cup.
    Future World Cup USMNT selections rather then those for CONCACAF competitions I assume witll have players capable of playing against teams that will want the ball and attack and yet capable of possession and able to defend. As opposed to just getting behind the ball and wait for a few chances to counter visa vie CONCACAF teams. . Oh wait that is how the US plays in World Cups!

  4. I think Arriola played himself into contention for a starting role with the full team assuming Bruce continues to field some version of a 4-4-2. Bedoya has seen a lot of time there, but he doesn’t bring enough getting forward in my opinion. Morris and Zardes have both slotted in there as well, but I don’t think their games fit the positional requirements. Outside of FabJo–depending on your views regarding his best position–I’m having a tough time thinking of a right winger in the pool who could claim that starting spot over Arriola

    • We need to see more from both Gooch and Saief. Gooch was a starter last fall for Sunderland and then got hurt and never recovered his form. Both, if in form, could challenge Arriola for a spot on the final 23. The reality is we don’t have a lot of true wingers.

      • Your memory is mistaken Gooch got his starts because of injuries, not taken away because of an injury. He got injured while playing for the U23s against Spurs U23 in November, his last start for Sunderland was September 12 and he was hardly being used as a sub in the time in between.

        Not denying he could challenge Arriola, just correcting the information.

    • i think he could get into a position where he is playing well enough but hes just not gonna pass up CP,FJ or nagbe. the pulisic nagbe bradley johnson midfield seems to be the group. if FJ moves to leftback then i can see a spot there. I guess its arriola or acosta getting the nod depending on what bruce thinks nagbes best spot is

  5. I actually think Arriola would be a great low-cost option for the Sounders should their other pursuits fall flat. Speedy winger with the ability to dribble past a guy from time to time and gain the touchline and cross into Dempsey/Morris/Bruin. With no real attention to actual shape…


    Seems like fun!

  6. I like the idea of Arriola (and any young American player) going to the Netherlands for further development. I’m not sure that it’s a huge step up from Liga MX, though. If he’s settled at Tijuana and getting steady playing time, maybe this isn’t the best move. Not to mention that he’s familiarity with Mexican soccer could be an asset to USMNT. I guess it would depend if Ajax is looking at him or some relegation candidate.

    • I actually think the Dutch league is a step down from Mexico. I think the same about a lot of leagues that people seem to think too much of.

      The fact is once you get past the destination leagues – with the Prem, Bundisliga 1, and La Liga on the top tier, and Serie A and Ligue 1 being the next tier down, stuff drops off in a hurry in Europe. Everything is concentrated at the top, the rest are just farm teams and farm leagues. I look at Turkey, the Scandanavian leagues, Belgium, even Portugal and aside from some of the super-teams at the very top I see some very bad teams that would not even be particularly competitive in MLS, teams that seat maybe 10-15K and do not have the quality, infrastructure, or money to be remotely competitive in their own super-top-heavy-dominated domestic leagues.

      The Dutch league, when you watch it, is strangely un-athletic, and you see strikers like Jozy Altidore and Aron Johanssen dominating in it. I like the technical skill (which seems a hair higher than MLS) but those guys really do not move well at all for the most part and they do not have quite the neatness, quickness, or incisiveness you see in Mexico, which really is a league built on very slick ball movement.

      • agreed, what i like about MLS and United States sports leagues in general is the depth of talent. The day that MLS is a top ten league might not be that far away

        England/spain/germany in what ever order you wish
        that 5 isnt gonna change any time soon


        is it crazy to think that (when you account for the parity that MLS has that the others dont have) the MLS could get into that group really soon?

  7. His last 2 games he was very active, could his finishing have been better, yes but showed well. As of now probably a good late sub for US.

  8. I really like aspects of Arriola’s game. He is tireless and relentless on the wing. But he will need to improve his distribution and finishing in the final third if he wants to make the next jump in his career evolution. It feels like in the right situation in Holland, he could thrive in the attack and be able to work on that. Ultimately, I’m intrigued to see how he progresses in the lead up to Russia. Arena seems to trust him, so as of right now, he likely has a spot in the 23.

    • ITA. He’s a hustle player, sort of like a faster Bedoya right now. Gaining some experience at a higher level wouldn’t hurt. AFAIK he just became a starter for Xolos this year. His form might have been off too since League MX is out of season.


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