Pacific FC record goalscorer Alejandro Diaz is on his way to Europe after his offensive exploits this season earned him a move to Norwegian team Sogndal Football.
The club-record sale of Diaz is currently the second-highest in Canadian Premier League history and could rise to the highest if Diaz reaches performance objectives. While CPL policy is to not release exact figures paid, according to a PFC spokesperson, the soccer website transfermarkt.us lists the fee at $165,000 and reports Diaz’ market value as $495,000.
Sogndal Football play in Obos Ligaen, the second tier in Norway’s pro soccer league.
“We would like to thank Alejandro for his service to our club over the past three seasons, and for the joy he has brought to fans of Pacific FC on and off the field,” PFC CEO Rob Friend said in a statement. “As a club, we are committed to helping our players develop and achieve new levels of success by carving out new opportunities in leagues around the world.”
He added that the transfer fees would be reinvested into Canadian soccer.
In a previous interview with Black Press Media, Friend talked about how the team provided a platform for players to improve and move to bigger leagues. At the beginning of last season, defenders Kadin Chung and Lukas MacNaughton were transferred to Toronto FC in Major League Soccer after starring for the Langford-based club. Other CPL teams have transferred players to clubs in France and England this year.
The loss of Diaz represents a massive blow to a PFC team vying for back-to-back CPL championships and competing in the CONCACAF League. The Mexican national has been on a miraculous purple patch of late, scoring nine goals in his last five games, including two hat tricks. He scored three in what would turn out to be his last game at Starlight Stadium against Waterhouse FC on Aug. 2. He leaves as a CPL champion and the team career goal-scoring leader.
“We wish Alejandro all the best as he embarks on a new chapter of his career,” said Pacific FC head coach James Merriman. “While we will miss having Alejandro lead our line, we are confident in the talent and depth that remains in our team and are excited to be taking on CS Herediano in Round of 16 play starting next week. We look forward to having Alejandro’s support from afar as we continue our run in the CPL and the CONCACAF League.”
PFC plays Atletico Ottawa next at Starlight Stadium at 2 p.m. on Aug. 13, followed by a second-leg CONCACAF League home match against Costa Rican club CS Herediano at 7 p.m. Aug. 16.