San Antonio FC attacking midfielder Jose Gallegos has signed with Danish Superliga club SønderjyskE on a long-term contract, reportedly setting the new standard for outgoing transfers from the American second-tier.
The struggling Danish club announced the signing on Friday, on a long-term contract that will keep the 20 year-old at the club through the end of the 2025-26 season. According to media rumors, the transfer fee paid by the Danes was in the neighborhood of $500,000, which would be a record sum for the purchase of a USL player.
Gallegos, who scored ten goals over the course of 59 games with San Antonio’s first team, was finalist for the USL’s Young Player of the Year award in 2020 and 2021. He had a short training stint in Germany with FC Bayern in early-2021, however returned to Texas for the USL season, where he helped lead San Antonio to second place in the Mountain Division, and the conference final, where they lost to eventual USL champions Orange County on penalties.
SønderjyskE’s sporting director Esben Hansen heaped praise upon the youngster, indicating that his acquisition was in the works for some time now.
“Jose is a young player with a huge potential, which we have had a good eye for a long time, and which we have scouted intensively for the last six months,” Hansen stated in the club’s press release. “He has impressed in USL during this period, and we are extremely happy that he has signed a long agreement with SønderjyskE.”
“Jose has great skills in offensive one-on-one situations, and he is also a hard-working character who fits well into our football club,” he continued, concluding, “Jose’s offensive qualities will help us in the future, and we are very much looking forward to getting him into the group, so that he can be integrated sportingly and socially among his new teammates as soon as possible.”
Playing in the southern-Danish town of Haderslev, SønderjyskE are having a difficult season, where they are currently second-bottom on ten points from their first 17 games. After returning from their long winter break in late February, they will play another five league games, before participating in a ten-game final round with the bottom-six teams to determine the two that will be relegated for next season.
If he is integrated quickly, Gallegos will be tasked with improving the worst attack in the league, which has only accounted for a paltry 11 goals in their Superliga 17 games. Part of the issue is a near-total lack of scoring production from their midfield, with the four players who have take up the majority of the minutes – Victor Mpindi, Mads Albaek, Julius Eskesen and Rilwan Hassan – only accounting for two goals so far this season.
Gallegos most frequently played in the center of the midfield for San Antonio last season, which would put him into direct competition with Hassan, who had assumed the central attacking role in the three-man midfield tactical arrangement used by the team for much of the fall.
He did on occasion also occupy a left-sided role in San Antonio, where Mpindi and Eskesen have mostly played for SønderjyskE in the current season.
However, SønderjyskE appointed a new coach – former club mainstay Henrik Hansen – in December in a bid to save their season. Up to now, Hansen’s highest-level experience has been as an assistant since joining the coaching ranks in 2015, which could lead to a complete tactical switch when the team resumes play in several weeks.
Despite their poor league standing, they have managed to earn a place in the Danish Cup semifinal. The two-legged round will take place in late-April, against fellow bottom-half team Odense BK.