Pacific FC sells CPL leading scorer Alejandro Diaz to Norwegian team

Pacific FC forward Alejandro Diaz is shown in a handout photo. Diaz, who leads the Canadian Premier League with 13 goals this season, has been sold for a club-record fee to Norway's Sogndal Fotball. (HO-Pacific FC/CP)

Pacific FC forward Alejandro Diaz, who leads the Canadian Premier League with 13 goals this season, has been sold for a club-record fee to Norway’s Sogndal Fotball.

Pacific said the sale, whose amount it did not detail, is the second-largest transfer in the league’s history, with the potential to become the largest based on conditional performance objectives.

The CPL’s largest transfer was the January 2020 sale of Forge FC attacking midfielder Tristan Borges, the league’s MVP and Golden Boot winner at the time, to Belgium’s OH Leuven, reportedly for between $300,000 and $500,000.

Borges was loaned back to Forge in March 2021.

Diaz has accounted for almost half of Pacific’s 28 goals in league play this season. The 26-year-old Mexican scored 31 goals and added nine assists in 62 games in all competitions over three seasons with Pacific.

“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,” Pacific CEO Rob Friend, a former Canadian international forward, said in a statement Wednesday. “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.

“As we help our players ascend, we are proud to set new benchmarks in terms of transfer fees for our league, which we look forward to reinvesting into Canadian soccer.”

Sogndal (8-6-5) currently stands eighth in Norway’s second-tier league. The club is coached by former Chelsea and Rangers forward Tore Andre Flo.

Diaz joined Pacific in March 2020 from Mexico’s Club America where he came up through the youth ranks. He made 56 appearances in Mexico for Club America’s senior team and, via loan spells, at Necaxa, Atlas and second-tier Zacatepec.

A Mexican youth international, Diaz won CONCACAF Championships with Mexico’s under-17 and under-20 teams.

Pacific (9-4-5) currently stands second in the CPL standings and has advanced to the round of 16 in the Scotiabank CONCACAF League after eliminating Jamaica’s Waterhouse FC. The defending CPL champion hosts Costa Rica’s Herediano in the first leg of their matchup next Tuesday.

“We wish Alejandro all the best as he embarks on a new chapter of his career,” said Pacific 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.”

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