Columbus Crew pinning hopes on Mendoza

Columbus Crew are hoping that new signing Andres Mendoza can help their push into the MLS play-offs.

Columbus Crew are hoping that new signing Andres Mendoza can help their push into the MLS play-offs.

The Crew have been searching for a prominent goalscorer in recent times and after releasing Sergio Herrera in June, believe they have found their man in Peru’s Mendoza who has extensive experience in Europe.

"Nothing against Sergio but (Mendoza) has played 10 of his last 11 years in Europe and another year in Mexico," Crew technical director Brian Bliss told the Columbus Dispatch. "He has a longer track record of scoring goals, and I think his physical dimensions, his running, his jumping and his general power are more suited to our league than Herrera's."

Mendoza, who signed with Crew from Turkish club Diyarbakirspor, admits he didn’t imagine playing in the USA but is delighted now after making the move.

“I wasn't expecting to be here," Mendoza said through a translator. "But I have followed MLS and I knew the league was pretty good. I've been happy so far. The best thing is how my teammates have treated me and helped me blend in. That's not always easy for a foreign player.

“My focus now is to play with this team and to score as many goals as I can. The play is faster, one- and two-touch. But the group here is great. The work the players, the coaching staff and the fitness trainers do together is very good."