Chilean sources link Colo-Colo striker Yashir Pinto to FC Edmonton

Yashir Pinto

Colo-Colo product and former Chilean U-20 national-team striker Yashir Pinto has been linked to an FC Edmonton move by multiple sources.

But FCE would not confirm nor deny the reports on Tuesday evening. Pinto was not seen at recent training sessions and was not at FCE’s practice on Tuesday. He hasn’t updated his Twitter feed since last November.

A web page dedicated to Chilean footballers playing abroad has reported that Pinto will be on the move from Colo-Colo to FC Edmonton.

Soccerway, a player tracking site, has also switched Pinto’s team from Nublense, where he was on loan last season, to FC Edmonton. A check on Nublense’s 2012 roster does not show Pinto returning to the second-division Chilean club.

But there could be fire behind the smoke. Colo-Colo was in Edmonton back in 2010 to play FCE as the Chilean power club toured Canada, a series which also included a game against TFC Academy.

But a deal would make sense from a marketing standpoint, especially if FCE can finalize a deal to leave Foote Field and move to a larger stadium for 2012. Those negotiations with the city are ongoing. That would mean more tickets to sell.

Of course, with Edmonton’s large and tightly knit Chilean community, having a Colo-Colo product gives FCE a marketing boost with that potential fan base. If FCE could mobilize the city’s Chilean population, it could provide a massive spike in ticket sales — it’s hard to overlook the public-relations value of this potential deal.

With Matt Lam coming back from his loan spell in Japan and Pinto potentially arriving from Chile, coach Harry Sinkgraven will have more options up front — and it will make competition tighter for spaces. Incumbent Canadians Michael Cox, Kyle Porter, Kyle Yamada and Paul Craig all play in the front three, as does American Shawn Chin. The team has also signed another central striker, former St. Mary’s University standout Elvir Gigolaj.

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About Steven Sandor

I'm currently the colour commentator for FC Edmonton broadcasts on Sportsnet, NASL.com and TEAM 1260. I've covered the Toronto FC beat for four years, worked for the Edmonton Aviators of the USL for a season, covered the Edmonton Drillers of the NPSL and started covering Canadian World Cup qualifiers in 1996. I've covered the CONCACAF Champions League and the U-20 World Cup. I'm passionate about soccer in North America.