Miami were intent to add a No. 10 this summer with their final Designated Player spot. They long held this view and wanted to act quickly, with the Secondary Transfer Window opening on July 7.
Pozuelo became a key target, as the Spaniard came with a number of attractive qualities.
He was also available as Toronto wanted to clear a DP spot in the final year of his contract. Those conditions are why the acquiring price for Miami was so low.
“We started having some conversations in the last few weeks, but we also were pursuing other targets at the same time,” Henderson said. “Going into these windows, you have to be prepared. You’re competing with other teams for the same players. There was a period we thought it wasn’t going to happen, but then it came back. We thought he was the perfect fit for what we were trying to do this year.”
Miami were linked with Mario Gotze, a target they considered but didn’t make their priority before the German World Cup winner eventually signed for Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt. They also considered a younger option as well, but Pozuelo was their guy.
The 30-year-old is still in his prime, is proven in MLS and won’t have to take time adjusting to the league. With Miami a few points below the playoff line and with a game in hand on rivals, that combination was important. Pozuelo won’t be eligible to debut immediately though; due to previously playing for a Canadian club, he has to wait on the American visa process.
“I think what’s important to say about the signings is that we’ve already got a fantastic group of players, we’re super proud,” Neville said. “Pozuelo and Coco joining are two more players adding to what we think is a young , hungry team.”
“Both signings have great quality,” Neville said. “When you think about what is needed to be successful in this league, the final third is where the difference-makers are. You look at the successful teams since I’ve come to MLS, they have a game-changer, a difference-maker. We hope that the two signings we’ve made, along with the fantastic attacking players we’ve got, can make us more successful.”