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Quakes nab diminutive attacker on loan from Benfica


San Jose Earthquakes general manager John Doyle may’ve just pulled off a late coup with the loan acquisition of a speedy little winger from Benfica.

Yannick Djalo is bound for San Jose for the entire 2014 season as long as the international paperwork plays out correctly, and will give the Quakes blazing pace on the wings. He stands just 5-foot-6 but scored 31 goals in 146 games for Sporting CP and earned a full cap for Portugal before transferring to Benfica in 2011.

Djalo, 27, hasn’t found his footing in Lisbon, playing in just three matches since then and spending parts of 2012 and 2013 on loan at Toulouse in Ligue 1, where he appeared 17 times.

“We’re excited to announce the signing of Yannick,” said Earthquakes head coach Mark Watson. “There was a lot of work and time spent scouting in the offseason, and we feel like we have a very good player in Yannick. He adds a versatile, attacking dimension to our team. He can operate as an attacking midfielder, but also has the pace to get behind defenders.”

San Jose hosts Deportivo Toluca in the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday before their MLS home opener on Saturday against Real Salt Lake. The Quakes had a bye on opening weekend.

Follow @nicholasmendola