D.C. United beefed up its midfield on Monday, acquiring Lucas Rodriguez on loan from Estudiantes de La Plata in Argentina.
The one-year loan deal features an option for a permanent transfer of the 21-year-old Argentinian. To acquire Rodriguez's Major League Soccer rights, D.C. United sent $50,000 in general allocation money to Atlanta United.
"We are excited to add a player of Lucas' pedigree and experience to our roster ahead of the 2019 season," D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper said in a statement. "At 21, he has been a consistent starter at the top level of Argentine soccer over the last three seasons and has both Copa Libertadores and U-20 World Cup experience with Argentina.
"Lucas can play any of the attacking positions centrally and in wide areas, and has all the qualities to succeed in Major League Soccer. We are looking forward to welcoming Lucas to the team and having him represent the Black-and-Red."
Rodriguez registered eight goals and five assists in 90 appearances for Estudiantes.
The newcomer could team with countryman Luciano Acosta in the midfield for D.C. United behind English striker Wayne Rooney.
The arrival of Rodriguez could prompt a move of Paul Arriola from winger to defense, according to the Washington Post.
Sparked by Rooney's arrival this summer, D.C. United made a stunning second-half charge to earn a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Black-and-Red fell to the visiting Columbus Crew in the opening round of the postseason, losing 3-2 in a shootout following a 2-2 draw.