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Official: Union sign Lionard Pajoy

Lionard Pajoy was having the best season of his career as a 30-year old in Colombia, and now the 6’1″ striker has a chance to build on his late blooming success as a member of the Philadelphia Union.

The team announced the signing of Pajoy (pronounced “Pa-hoy”) from Colombian first division side Itagui Ditaires today. Pajoy had 13 goals and 3 assists this year prior to his move. He has 47 goals in over 200 appearances since 2004.

Head of scouting and player development Diego Gutierrez said of Pajoy: “He’s a very physical player. He’s a guy that’s 6-1, a wide body, and a guy that’s got a lot of speed. He’s not your typical target player, though he does play with his back to the goal quite well. He also has a lot of skill on the ball, so he’s able to do a lot of things.”

Kerith Gabriel of the Philadelphia Daily News was the first to report the team was close to signing Pajoy in late January.


  1. Awsome! Now a cokehead can be the face of the Union! Saweet!!!

    • Josh T. of Kensington says:

      Are you going off the photo or something else?

      • He failed a drug test five years ago. Like that matters now.

      • Ed Farnsworth says:

        From the Daily News:

        “In 2007, Pajoy served a suspension after he tested positive for a substance that was banned not by the Colombian League, but by officials within Copa Libertadores or the South American cup. It’s been reported that the substance contained trace amounts of cocaine. But [Union Head of Scouting and Player Development Diego] Gutierrez isn’t pleased with what he feels are ‘uninformed outlets’ that have put emphasis on the illicit drug aspect.

        “’It’s character defamation plain and simple,’ said Gutierrez. ‘You have people who read something, don’t gather any of their own facts, speak to anyone regarding the situation and put something out there to have people look at a player in a negative way even before he touches a ball with the team. How that’s allowed to happen is beyond me but that’s the world we live in, I suppose.

        “‘This was an over-the-counter topical drug administered by his training staff (Gutierrez likened it to applying Ben Gay) that was banned by Copa Libertadores. He had to serve a suspension, he went through the right channels, in our eyes it’s a non-issue.’”

    • Why would Pajoy be the de facto face of the club? How about guys like Califf, Torres, either Farfan (they’re interchangeable anyway), Williams, etc?

      • Was meant to be facetious…also Torres couldnt be the face of the U because he needs an interpreter to communicate effectively…not that there is anything wrong with that.

      • Are you REALLY that arrogant? Torres, just like any other international member of the team, can communicate just fine. Maybe you are the one who needs some help communicating effectively.

      • Yes I am borderline Nowak. If Torres can communicate effectively why does he need a translator? Per Union website: “I’ve always felt okay and secure here,” Torres said through a translator following preseason training last week at YSC Sports in Wayne, Pa. “I’ve always felt like Philadelphia is my home. I feel better now that I’m part of this family.”

  2. I don’t mind this signing for simple depth and veteran presence. Unlike with Le Toux, I don’t expect Nowak to give Pajoy minutes if he is out of form and playing badly. I look forward to having an actual striker rotation.
    Also, it sounds like he has target man skills which we needed even with Le Toux and could compliment Jack Mac/Martinez well.

  3. I wrote this this morning on another report, but I agree that it is a mistake to compare Pajoy and Le Toux. Pajoy sounds like a player much more in the mold of Carlos Ruiz or Alejandro Moreno (not that these two play exactly the same game).

    I would expect Mwanga and Pajoy to compete for minutes up top, but Mwanga also to potentially be used as a second striker, competing then with McInerney, Martinez, and Hoffman. If that holds, than the biggest question heading in to this season is still Can Danny Deliver? Pajoy is a nice compliment and should help take all of the pressure of Mwanga, but thats where the bulk of it has to be.

  4. Hopefully, this is not another Ruiz signing. We will see if he produces. But his stats are not that impressive.

  5. Hope he is an aerial threat. Still want to see Danny, Jack Mac, and Josue up top primarily. As the Le Toux anger fades a bit, we do have some potentially exciting players.

  6. UnitedPenn13 says:

    I thought Nowak was going with “youth”, which was one of his justifications for trading Le Toux. Le Toux is 28, Pajoy is 30. By my math 30 is older than 28.

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