Darwin Quintero

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Darwin Quintero
Darwin Quintero Minnesota United - Houston Dynamo - TCF Bank Stadium - Minneapolis - MLS (40885793185).jpg
Quintero playing for Minnesota United in 2018
Personal information
Full name Carlos Darwin Quintero Villalba[1]
Date of birth (1987-09-19) 19 September 1987 (age 32)
Place of birth Tumaco, Colombia
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 6 12 in)[1]
Playing position(s) Forward
Club information
Current team
Houston Dynamo
Number 23
Youth career
2004–2005 Deportes Tolima
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2007 Deportes Tolima 55 (24)
2007–2008 Krylia Sovetov 11 (1)
2008Deportivo Pereira (loan) 12 (4)
2008 Deportivo Pereira 22 (13)
2009–2014 Santos Laguna 225 (66)
2014–2018 América 107 (17)
2018–2019 Minnesota United 57 (21)
2020– Houston Dynamo 4 (1)
National team
2008–2012 Colombia 14 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 15, 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of October 15, 2013

Carlos Darwin Quintero Villalba (born 19 September 1987) is a Colombian professional footballer who plays as a forward for MLS club Houston Dynamo. Quintero is also known by his nickname of El Científico del Gol (The Goal Scientist).[2][3] He has played various roles throughout his career, spending time leading the line as a striker, playing out wide as a winger, and playing underneath another striker as a second striker and central attacking midfielder throughout his career.[2][4] His main attributes throughout his career have been his pace, creativity, and technical and dribbling ability.[2][5][6]

Club career[edit]

Early career and Deportes Tolima[edit]

Quintero began his career with Panadería Kuty training school and Barsa Fútbol Club.[7][8] His mentor Élkin Congote tried to find a better situation for Quintero to develop and set up trials with more prestigious youth teams in Cali, Carlos Sarmiento Lora School and Selección Valle, as well as Boca Juniors, however they all rejected him. Quintero did catch the attention of Humberto Ortiz, a former top flight coach and now a scout for Categoría Primera A club Deportes Tolima. Tolima and Ortiz negotiated with Barsa and Quintero joined the youth ranks of Tolima in 2004.[7] Quintero was part of Jorge Luis Bernal's Tolima youth side that won gold for men's football at the 2004 National Games of Colombia.[9][10]

Quintero made his first team debut at the age of 18 on 18 September 2005 in a 1–0 defeat to Atlético Junior.[11] That would be his only first team appearance of the year.[12] in 2006, after being placed on a special vitamin supplement and workout routine to help Quintero bulk up, he was called up to the Tolima first team, which was now managed by Quintero's former youth coach Jorge Luis Bernal.[13][10] He scored his first goal on 19 February 2006 in a 3–1 win over Boyacá Chicó. Quintero would score his first career hat-trick on 26 February in a 7–3 victory against Envigado F.C.[14] He went on to score 19 times in 42 appearances in his first full season.[12] Quintero and Tolima finished the Campeonato Finalización top of the table, but they lost in the final 2–1 on aggregate to Cúcuta Deportivo.[15] Quintero also made his debut in continental football in 2006, first appearing and scoring in the Copa Sudamericana on 22 August in a 3–1 win over Independiente Medellín in the first leg of the first stage. He would score again on 21 September to give Tolima a 2-2 draw with Mineros de Guayana, with Tolima advancing on away goals. Tolima would advance to the Round of 16 before falling to eventual champs Pachuca.[16]

2007 saw Quintero make his Copa Libertadores debut on 7 March, with Quintero scoring once to give Tolima a 1–0 win over Cerro Porteño. In the final match of the group, Quintero scored once, but it was not enough as Tolima fell to fellow Colombian side Cúcuta Deportivo. Tolima were eliminated after finishing third in the group to Cúcuta Deportivo by 2 points.[17] Quintero and Tolima did not enjoy a successful 2007 Campeonato Apertura, finishing 12th.

Krylia Sovetov[edit]

In July 2007, Quintero joined Russian Premier League side FC Krylia Sovetov Samara along with fellow Colombian and Tolima teammate Juan Carlos Escobar.[18] La Liga club Real Betis also showed interest in Quintero, but he preferred the offer from Krylia Sovetov.[19] He made his debut for Krylia Sovetov on 11 August, coming on as a substitute in a 2–0 defeat to Spartak Moscow. On 25 August, Quintero made his first start for Krylia Sovetov, however they would fall to Zenit St. Petersburg 3–1. He scored his first goal on 28 October in a 3–0 win over Rubin Kazan.[20] It was a rough season for Quintero, who only scored one goal and only played 434 minutes.[21] The season was rough for Krylia Sovetov as well, finishing in 13th place and tied on points with relegated side FC Kuban Krasnodar.[22]

Deportivo Pereira[edit]

In 2008, Leonid Slutsky took over as the head coach for Krylia Sovetov and sent Quintero to Colombia on loan with an option to buy to Primera A club Deportivo Pereira for the first half of the Russian Premier League season.[23][24] Quintero scored his first goal for Pereira on 6 April in a 4–1 defeat to América de Cali.[25] He scored twice in a 5–2 win over Deportivo Pasto on 13 April.[26] On 27 April he scored once to help earn Pereira a 3–3 draw with Atlético Huila.[27] Quintero ended the Torneo Apertura with 4 goals from 12 appearances and was voted as the best player in the team by a fan poll on the club website.[23] Quintero returned to Samara at the end of May. He trained with Krylia Sovetov for two weeks, but Slutsky did not see a place for him in the team.[23] Atlético Nacional came close to signing him, with an agreement in place between Krylia Sovetov, Nacional, and Quintero. However Quintero would end up returning to Deportivo Pereira after they decided to exercise their option to buy that was part of the loan agreement.[28][24]

After Pereira had finished bottom of the Apatura table, Luis Fernando Suárez came in as the new manager.[29] On 24 August, Quintero scored his first goal of the Torneo Finalización to give Pereira a 3–2 win over Millonarios F.C.. He would find the back of the net twice on 14 September to give Pereira a 2–0 win over Cúcuta Deportivo. 10 days later, Quintero would score in the 90th minute to give Deportive Pereira a 2–1 win over Junior.[27] Suárez and Quintero helped Deportivo Pereira finish the Torneo Finalización top of the table and finish one spot above the relegation playoffs in the relegation table, which takes into account performance over the past three seasons. In the second match of the second phase of the Torneo Finalización, Quintero scored a brace against Junior to give Pereira a 3–2 win over Junior. In the 4th match, he scored a hat trick to help Pereira defeat Deportivo Cali 3–1.[27] However, Pereira finished second in the group, failing to advance to the final. Quintero ended the season with 13 goals in 22 games and was rated as one of the top performers of the season.[30] Quintero's 13 goals gave him the second highest goal tally for the clausure, trailing only Fredy Montero's 16.[31] After the season, there was interest in Quintero from Colombian clubs such as Atlético Nacional and Independiente Santa Fe, as well as Italian Serie A club S.S. Lazio.[30][32]

Santos Laguna[edit]

2008–09 Season

In December 2008, Quintero joined Club Santos Laguna of the Mexican Primera División for a transfer fee over $4 million.[30][33] He explained that his decision to join Santos was inspired by seeing the success other Colombians were having in Mexico.[8] In early January, he joined up with the team in Cancún for a training camp ahead of the 2009 Clausura season.[34] He made his debut for Santos on 18 January 2009 in the first match of the Clausura, playing all 90 minutes in a 2–1 against Club América.[35] Quintero started the first two matches of the season due to an injury to star Ecuadorian striker Christian Benítez.[36] After he failed to score in his first 4 matches, there was some media criticism of his lack of goals, but was praised for his work rate.[37] On 15 February Quintero scored his first goal for Los Guerreros in a 2–1 victory over Chivas. He made his first appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League on 25 February, coming on as a substitute in a 2–0 defeat to the Montreal Impact in the first leg of the quarterfinals.[35] Quintero got his first assist for Santos on 1 March, finding Benítez outside the box, who then laced the ball into bottom right corner. Santos would go on to draw Club Necaxa 2–2.[38] In the return leg of the CCL quarterfinals, Santos found themselves trailing the Impact 4–3 on aggregate as they entered stoppage time. Quintero slotted in a cross across the 6 yard box in the 91st minute to level the aggregate score at 4, however Santos still trailed on away goals. Quintero scored again in the 93rd minute to put Los Guerreros up 5–4 on aggregate and in to the semifinals.[39] On 15 March, Quintero found the back of the net twice as Santos drew with Deportivo Toluca 2–2. He would stay hot in their next match, scoring twice to give Santos a 2–1 victory over Atlante in the first leg of the CCL semifinals. Quintero scored his 4th goal of the Clausura on 5 April to help rescue a 2–2 draw with Pachuca.[35] In the second leg with Atlante, Quintero got an assist on Vicente Matías Vuoso's goal to put Santos up 3–2, however two late goals saw Atlante come back and advance to the final.[40] Santos and Quintero failed to qualify for Liguilla. He enjoyed a solid debut season, scoring 8 and assisting 2 in 20 appearances across all competitions.[41]

2009–10 Season

Quintero made his first appearance of the 2009–10 season in a North American SuperLiga match on 28 June 2009. Quintero came on as a substitute in the second half and helped Santos secure a 3–1 win over the Kansas City Wizards in the final match of the group stage. He would play the full 90 minutes and score once in the semifinal with Tigres UANL, however Los Guerreros would fall by the score of 3–2. He made his first Primera División appearance of the season season in the first match of the Apertura on 26 July, a 1–1 draw with Monarcas Morelia. He picked up his first goal of the Apertura campaign on 16 August in a 3–2 win over Cruz Azul.[35] Quintero recorded his first assist of the season on 4 September in a 4–2 victory over Estudiantes Tecos.[42] After scoring a goal in a 2–0 win over Querétaro on 13 September, Quintero got an assist in the 88th minute to give Santos a 1–0 over Atlante. He had another assist in the next match for Los Guerreros as they defeated Pachuca 4–0.[35] Quintero ended the Apertura with 3 goals and 5 assists as helped Santos qualify for the Liguilla. Santos were defeated by Morelia in the first round, losing 4–2 over the two legs. In the 2010 InterLiga Quintero made 3 substitute appearances as Santos were eliminated in the group stage. In the opening match of the 2010 Clausura, Quintero came off the bench and scored to help Santos record a 3–2 victory over Morelia. He scored in three consecutive games from matchweek 9 to 11, with Santos winning all three games. On 19 April, he scored and assisted another as Los Verdiblancos defeated San Luis 2–1. Quintero scored 6 times and assisted for 4 goals as Santos qualified for Liguilla. He picked up an assist in the first leg of the quarterfinals as Santos went on to defeat UNAM Pumas 2–1 over two legs. Quintero had another assist in the first leg of the semifinals and scored for himself in leg two as Los Guerreros defeated Morelia 10–4 on aggregate. He scored again in the first leg of the final, but Santos would lose on penalties after leg two, with Toluca winning their 10th league title in club history.[35][43]

2010–11 Season

Quintero opened the 2010–11 season in strong form, scoring once and assisting three times in the first three games of the Apertura. He then entered a patch of bad form, failing to score and only picking up one assist the rest of the season. Despite Quintero's struggles, Santos still managed to qualify for Liguilla, where Quintero came alive. After a quiet quarterfinals against Chiapas, Quintero scored 3 times over two legs to help Santos advance past Club América by an aggregate score of 5–4. He would score again against Monterrey to give Santos a 3–2 win in the first leg of the final, but Rayados would win the return leg 3–0 to take the championship.[35][44] Quintero started the Clausura strong, picking up one goal and one assist in the opening match, a 2–1 win over Atlante. He would find the back of the net for the second time of the season in matchweek 4 in a 2–1 victory against Chiapas. On 2 April Quintero scored once and recorded an assist in a 3–0 win against Cruz Azul.[35] Quintero was sent off in the 71st minute after headbutting Christian Giménez. Quintero alleged that had Giménez pushed him after another Cruz Azul player, Rogelio Chávez, had called Quintero an "ape", sparking his reaction. While Chávez admitted to a verbal altercation with Quintero denied using any racist insults.[45] Quintero received a 6 match suspension after the incident, three matches for violent conduct and than another three matches for further aggression towards an opponent after being sent off.[46] The suspension was later reduced to four matches.[47] He returned from his suspension on 29 April against Estudiantes Tecos, picking up an assist in the 3–1 victory. Quintero had 3 goals and 3 assists in the Clausura, however Santos failed to qualify for Liguilla. Quintero made his first appearance of the 2010–11 CONCACAF Champions League on August 4, 2010, scoring one in a 5–0 win over San Juan Jabloteh F.C. to help give Santos a 6–0 win on aggregate. He scored twice in four appearances in the group stage as Los Guerreros advanced to the quarterfinals, where they lost to Cruz Azul by an aggregate score of 5–1.[35]

Quintero during the 2012 Clausura

2011–12 Season

Before the start of the 2011 Apertura, Quintero changed his jersey number from 28 to 3 due to his son being born on 3 March.[48] He made his first appearance of the Apertura in matchweek 1, coming off the bench and picking up an assist in a 4–1 win over Pachuca. In matchweek 2, he scored his first goal of the campaign and picked up another assist as Los Guerreros defeated Atlante 3–0. Quintero would put his name on the scoresheet again on 25 September, scoring once to help Santos to a 2–1 win over Puebla. Two matches later Quintero scored one and had one assist as Santos defeated Querétaro FC 3–1 on 8 October. After picking up an assist in their next match, a 3–2 victory over Toluca, Quintero scored again on 22 October, however Los Guerreros fell to Estudiantes Tecos 5–2. He would score again on 26 October in a 1–1 draw with Club América, bringing his goal involvement to 6 in his last 6 games. Quintero ended the Apertura with 5 goals from 17 games as he helped Santos qualify for Liguilla. He had one assist in the first leg and a goal in the second to help see Santos past Chiapas and into the semifinals, where they advanced past Morelia.[35] In the first leg of the final with Tigres UANL, Los Guerreros were unable to have much success and lost 1–0.[49] In the second leg, Quintero was replaced after 15 minutes due to the goalkeeper, Oswaldo Sánchez, receiving a red card. Santos would go on to lose the game 3–1, falling short in the final once again.[50] Quintero scored his first goal of the 2012 Clausura in matchweek 4, a 3–1 win over Club Tijuana. He picked up his first assist of the season in their next game, a 2–1 win over Pumas UNAM. Quintero ended the season in good form, scoring 5 and adding 2 assists in his last 6 games of the regular season, bringing his Clausura total up to 6 goals and 4 assists in 14 appearances. His strong performances throughout the tournament helped Santos qualify for Liguilla as the 1 seed. In their quarterfinal matchup with Chiapas, Quintero scored a goal in each leg, both Santos wins, as Los Guerreros advanced with an aggregate score of 6–4. Santos Laguna matched up with Tigres in the semifinal in a rematch of the 2011 Apertura final. In the first leg of the semifinals, Quintero had one assist as Santos could only manage a draw.[35] In the second leg, Tigres jumped out to an early 2 goal lead. In the 87th minute, Quintero sent in a cross that Oribe Peralta was able to head into the net. Two minutes later, Quintero picked out Peralta making a run to the left post, who then shot the ball into the roof of the net, leveling the score on aggregate and sending Santos to the final.[51] In the first leg of the final, Santos and Monterrey played to a 1 all draw.[52] In the second leg, Quintero helped Santos get off to a good start, stealing the ball at midfield and dribbling to the edge of the penalty box before laying it off to Daniel Ludueña, who put the ball in the net in the 6th minute. Santos was able to hold on and win by a score of 2–1, with an aggregate score of 3–2, to win their fourth league title in club history.[53]

Santos also enjoyed a deep run in the 2011–12 CONCACAF Champions League. Quintero scored his first goal of the tournament on 27 July 2011 as Los Guerreros won the first leg of their qualifier with Olimpia 3–1. Santos lost the second leg, but advanced 4–3 on aggregate.[54] Quintero scored his second of the tournament on 13 September, helping Santos secure a 4–1 over the Colorado Rapids.[55] He made his final of 3 appearances in the group stage on 22 September, scoring twice and assisting on another as Santos defeated A.D. Isidro Metapán 6–0.[56] He missed the final three matches of the group stage and the quarterfinals due to an injury.[57] Quintero returned for the semifinal first leg on 28 March 2012 and helped to open the scoring by assisting Hérculez Gómez in the 30th minute, however Toronto would respond and level the score seven minutes later.[58] After the match, Quintero got a red card after he got in an altercation with Toronto defender Ashtone Morgan, prompting both benches to clear and run onto the field.[59] In the first leg of the final, Quintero had some dangerous moments, but Santos fell to Monterrey 2–0.[60] In the second leg, Quintero found Daniel Ludueña just outside the penalty box, who then turned and rocketed a shot into the top right corner right before halftime.[61] In the second half Quintero helped to create another goal, dribbling down the right flank before whipping in a cross that the Rayados keeped knocked off target, but pinballed around the box before Oribe Peralta was able to put it into the net and level the aggregate score.[62] Monterrey would respond in the 82nd minute and hold on to deny Santos their first continental trophy in club history.[63]

2012–13 Season

Quintero made his first appearance of the 2012 Apertura on 21 July, scoring once in a 2–1 win over San Luis. On 29 July, Quintero scored in the 89th minute to give Los Guerreros a 1–0 victory over Guadalajara. He scored for the third straight match on 3 August to help Santos to a 2–2 draw with Puebla. On 1 September Quintero scored twice to help Santos defeat Tigres UANL 3–1.[35] He ended the Apertura with 7 goals, the most on the team, however Santos failed to qualify for Liguilla, finishing level on points with Guadalajara, but missing out due to a worse goal differential.[64] In the first match of the 2013 Clausura, Quintero picked up an assist in a 1 all draw with San Luis.[65][66] He scored his first goal of the campaign on 16 February in a 1–1 draw with Tigres.[35] On 16 March Quintero recorded a late assist and scored in the 89th minute to give Santos a dramatic victory over Atlas.[67] He finished the tournament with 4 goals and helped Santos return to Liguilla. In the quarterfinals, after a scoreless first leg, Quintero scored twice in the second leg with Atlas to give Santos a 3–1 victory.[35] However they were eliminated by Cruz Azul in the semifinals, with Quintero being sent off in the second leg for his second yellow card in the 51st minute.[68]

Quintero made his first appearance of the 2012–13 CONCACAF Champions League on 21 August 2012, scoring a hat-trick in a 5–0 victory over C.D. Águila in the first match of the group stage.[69] In their next match, he would find the back of the net again to help Santos to a 3–1 victory over Toronto FC. After losing the first leg of the quarterfinals away to the Houston Dynamo 1–0, Santos responded with a 3–0 win in leg two to advance to the semifinals. Santos won the first leg with the Seattle Sounders 1–0. In the return leg Santos managed a 1–1 with Quintero scoring to help send Los Guerreros to their second consecutive CCL final, facing Monterrey once again.[70] After a scoreless first leg, Quintero opened the scoring in leg two with a goal in the 38th minute. With Santos up 2–1 late, Quintero was subbed off in the 82nd minute. Soon after Monterrey would level the score at 2 in the 83rd minute, before taking the lead in the 86th. Rayados would add on another goal in stoppage time to defeat Santos 4–2, defeating Santos in consecutive CCL finals and taking their third consecutive Champions league title.[71][72] Quintero's 6 goals in the tournament saw him tie for the golden boot with Nicolas Muñoz.[73]

2013–14 Season

Ahead of the 2013–14 season, Quintero signed a new contract with Santos Laguna that lasted until 2016.[74] He made his first appearance of the season on 23 July in a Copa MX match against Club Atlético Zacatepec, scoring once in a 3–0 win. The Apertura 2013 Copa MX was Quintero's first time competing in the Copa MX as the tournament had not been played from 1996 to 2012 and teams who were competing in a continental competition did not participate. In Santos's next Copa MX match, Quintero scored twice to help Los Guerreros record a 3–3 draw with Zacatepec. He would score a brace in the final match of the group stage, a 3–2 win over Tigres UANL, however it was not enough as Santos failed to advance out of the group.[35] Quintero's 5 goals saw him finish as the second highest scorer of the tournament.[75]

He made his first appearance of the 2013 Apertura on 31 July in a 1–1 draw with Puebla. He got off to a slow start, picking up his first assist of the season on 7 September, his 7th appearances of the Apertura, in a 2–2 draw with Atlas. He didn't record his first goal until 27 September, his 9th appearances of the Apertura, a 3–1 win over Morelia.[76] Despite the slow start, Quintero had a strong finish to the season, ending the Apertura with 3 goals and 9 assists in 16 appearances to help Santos qualify for Liguilla.[77] His 9 assists were the most for the Apertura.[78] In the first leg of the quarterfinals with Querétaro, Quintero scored two and assisted for a third as Santos defeated Los Gallos Blancos 3–2.[79] In the second leg he scored two more to give Santos a 3–1 victory and an aggregate score of 6–3.[80] In the semifinals, Quintero was unable to keep up his prolific scoring as Santos lost to Club León, the eventual champions.[81] Quintero made his first appearance of the 2014 Clausura on 3 January, matchweek 1, in a 1–1 draw with Guadalajara. He recorded his first assist of the Clausura on 1 February in a 2–0 victory over Toluca. In the next match, he recorded another assist, this time to help Santos to a 1–1 draw with Tigres UANL. In the next match of the Clausura, Quintero scored his first goal of the campaign and picked up another assist to give Santos a 3–2 win against Club Tijuana. On 8 March as he scored once and added two assists to help Los Guerreros record a 4–2 victory against Club América. On 13 April Quintero scored three times to help Santos defeat Atlante 4–3. He ended the Clausura with 6 goals and 8 assists, playing in all 17 games.[82][77] He once again topped the Liga MX assist charts.[83] During the Liguilla quarterfinals, Quintero scored once in the first leg as Santos lost to Club América 5–3 in the first leg. They would win the return leg 3–1, advancing on away goals.[84] Santos would lose to Pachuca in the first leg of the semifinals 2–0.[85] Quintero had one assist in the return leg to help Santos respond with a 4–2 win, but it was not enough as Pachuca advanced on away goals.[86]

Santos Laguna and Quintero also qualified for the 2014 Copa Libertadores as the best team from the 2013 Apertura that failed to qualified for 2013–14 CONCACAF Champions League. Quintero made his first appearance in the tournament on 11 February 2014, the first match of the group stage. Quintero had one assist as Santos defeated Arsenal de Sarandí. He recorded another assist on 18 February in a 2–0 win over Peñarol and his third assist of the tournament on 18 March in a 3–0 win against Deportivo Anzoátegui SC. On 25 March Quintero scored twice and assisted for two more as Los Guerreros defeated Peñarol 4–1, securing Santos's place in the round of 16. Santos were upset by Club Atlético Lanús in the round of 16 by an aggregate score of 4–1, with the 1 goal being scored by Quintero.[87]

2014–15 Season

Quintero made his first appearance of the 2014–15 season in the opening match of the 2014 Apertura, a 1–0 victory over Veracruz on 19 July. He recorded his first assist of the season on 25 July in a 1–1 draw with Cruz Azul. On 17 August Quintero scored in the 88th minute to give Santos a 1–0 win against Guadalajara. He would find the back of the net again in their next league match, a 3–0 win over Toluca. On 12 September, Quintero recorded 2 assists as Los Guerreros beat León 2–0. Quintero ended the Apertura with 2 goals and 9 assists in 17 appearances. However that wasn't enough as Santos finished in 9th place, finishing one point behind Tigres in the last Liguilla spot.[88]

Quintero and Santos also competed in the Apertura 2014 Copa MX, with Quintero's first appearance coming on 30 July in a 3 1 defeat to Atlético San Luis in the first match of the group stage. On 23 September, Quintero got the game winning assist, setting up Djaniny in the 92nd minute to give Santos a 2–1 win over Monterrey in the final match of the group stage to guarantee a spot in the quarterfinals. Santos and Quintero defeated Guadalajara in the quarterfinals 5–0 and Tigres UANL 4–2 in the semifinals.[35] During the final, Quintero assisted Néstor Calderón to put Santos up 2–1.[89] Quintero was subbed off in the 87th minute, but soon after Puebla responded to level the score at two.[90] Santos managed to preveal in penalties, winning their first Copa MX in club history.[91]

On 26 November 2014, it was reported that Quintero had requested to leave Santos, citing the need for new challenges and experiences.[92] On 28 November Santos Laguna vice-president Alberto Canedo Macouzet confirmed that Quintero had requested to leave. While they were hoping he would stay, they were also exploring possible destinations for a transfer.[93] On 29 November, Quintero posted on social media a message thanking the fans and the club his time with Santos.[94] At the time of his transfer, Quintero's 277 appearances across all competitions for Santos was the seventh most all time, his 92 goals in all competitions were the fourth most in club history, his 21 goals scored in continental were the most in club history, and his 82 assists in all competitions were the second most in club history.

Club América[edit]

Quintero playing for Club América in the 2015–16 CONCACAF Champions League Final

2014–15 Season

On 16 December 2014 Quintero signed with Club América.[95] The transfer fee was reportedly $10.3 million, breaking the Liga MX transfer record.[96][97][98] He was unveiled to the press on 19 December along with fellow new signings Cristian Pellerano, Miguel Samudio, and Darío Benedetto.[99] On 10 January Quintero made his debut for Las Águilas in the opening match of the 2015 Clausura, scoring once in a 3–2 win against León. He recorded his first assist for América on 31 January, setting up Benedetto for the only score of the game in a win over Tigres UANL. He picked up another assist in their next match, a two all draw with Monarcas Morelia. Quintero finished with only 1 goal and 2 assists in the Clausura, but helped América finish second and qualify for Liguilla.[35] However América and Quintero had a disappointing playoffs, losing in the first round to Pachuca.[100]

Despite a disappointing run in the playoffs, América and Quintero had a successful run during the 2014–15 CONCACAF Champions League. He made his first appearance of the tournament on 25 February 2015, in the first leg of the quarterfinals with Deportivo Saprissa, picking up an assist in a 3–0 win. América would win the return leg comfortably 2–0. They would run into trouble in the semifinals, losing 3–0 in the first leg with C.S. Herediano.[35] In the second leg, Quintero got things started early, tapping in a spilled ball by the Herediano goalkeeper in the 4th minute. Four minutes later, Quintero set up Darío Benedetto, who turned and fired the ball off the post and in. In the 19th minute, Quintero assisted Benedetto again to level the aggregate score at 3. América would go on to win 6–0 and advance.[101] In the first leg of the final América and the Montreal Impact played to a one all draw. After falling behind early in the second leg, Quintero picked up to assists as Las Águilas scored four goals. The Impact would score once late, but it was too little too late as América won their sixth CONCACAF championship.[102]

His final appearance of his debut season with América came on 20 July 2015, a 1–0 loss to Santos Laguna in the Campeón de Campeones.[103]

2015–16 Season

Quintero made his first appearance of the 2015–16 season on 26 July, scoring once in a 4–2 defeat to Puebla in the opening game of the 2015 Apertura. Quintero scored again on 11 August to help América to a 4–0 win over Dorados de Sinaloa. On 1 November he scored once and assisted another as Las Águilas defeated Toluca 3–2. Quintero ended the Apertura with 4 goals and 3 assists. In the quarterfinals of Liguilla, América advanced past Club León 5–3 on aggregate. After losing the first leg of the semifinals 3–0 to Pumas UNAM, Quintero scored two early goals in the second leg to bring América back into the fixture. Although they would win the second leg 3–1, Pumas advanced on aggregate 4–3.[35]

On 13 December 2015, Quintero made his first career appearance in the FIFA Club World Cup, getting the start in a 2–1 defeat to Guangzhou Evergrande.[104] He did not feature in the fifth place game, a 2–1 win over TP Mazembe.[105]

Quintero got off to a slow start in the 2016 Clausura, only having one assist and zero goals in his first 7 appearances. After he served his suspension for a red card he received in matchweek 7, Quintero scored twice and added an assist as América defeated Morelia 4–1. Quintero ended the Apertura with 6 goals and 2 assists, with 5 of the goals and 1 of the assists coming in the 5 games immediately following his suspension in matchweek 7. In the quarterfinals of Liguilla, Quintero had the go ahead assist in the second leg to help América advance past Guadalajara. After getting a 1–0 win in the first leg of the semifinal, Monterrey won the return leg 4–2, eliminating América.[35]

Quintero made his first appearance in the 2015–16 CONCACAF Champions League on 5 August 2015 in a 4–0 victory over C.D. Motagua in the opening match of the group stage. He picked up his first and second goal of the tournament on September 16, scoring twice in a 3–1 win against C.D. Walter Ferretti. In the first leg of the quarterfinal matchup with Seattle Sounders, Quintero scored once to help América secure a 2 all draw. In the second leg Quintero found the back of the net in the 42nd minute to level the aggregate score at 3. América would score two more goals to advance past the Sounders. América would advance past Santos Laguna 1–0 in extra time to set up a final against Tigres UANL. Although he did not feature in the first leg, Quintero returned to the starting lineup for leg two, as Las Águilas won their second consecutive CCL title.[35]

2016–17 Season

Quintero made his first appearance of the season on 16 July, scoring once in a 2–0 win against Chiapas in the opening game of the 2016 Apertura. He would score again in América's next match, a 3–0 win over Venados F.C. in the Apertura 2016 Copa MX. Quintero picked up his first assist of the campaign on 23 July in a 3–1 victory against Toluca. On 6 August, he scored once and recorded two assists to help América to a 4–1 win over Veracruz.[35] On 3 September, it was announced that Quintero was suffering from a thrombophlebitis in his right leg. The initial estimate was that he would be out for three to six months and miss the rest of the season.[106] Quintero managed to return in time for the final match of the Apertura, recording two assists in a 3–3 draw with Pachuca on 19 November. During the first leg of the Liguilla quarterfinals, América and Guadalajara played to a 1–1 draw. Quintero would get an assist in the second leg to send Las Águilas through to the semifinals. After defeating Necaxa, América would face off with Tigres UANL in the final. Quintero came off the bench in the first leg, but did not feature in the second as Tigres won in extra time. At the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup, Quintero helped América defeat Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in their first match before falling to Real Madrid in the semifinals. They would lose to Atlético Nacional on penalties in the third place game.[35]

On 27 December, América included Quintero on their list of transferable players ahead of the 2017 Clausura.[107] Despite interest in Quintero, no deals were completed and he remained with América. He made his first appearance of the 2017 Clausura in matchweek one, coming on as a substitute in a 2–1 defeat to Toluca on 15 January. He recorded his first assist of the Clausura on 4 February in a 2–0 victory against Morelia. On 18 March, Quintero was playing in a match with the under–20 team when he suffered a leg injury.[108] He returned to the first team lineup for matchweek 15. He made three substitute appearances for the final three matches. The Clausura season was a disappointment for Quintero and América. Quintero scored zero goals and had two assists in his league 13 appearances, with only three of those being starts, as América failed to qualify for Liguilla. Copa MX wasn't much better for either. On 18 January, Quintero scored once to help defeat his old team Santos Laguna in the first match of the Clausura 2017 Copa MX group stage. That would be the only time Quintero would score or record an assist during the tournament. América managed to advance out of the group, but lost in the round of 16 to Tijuana.[35]

2017–18 Season

Quintero made his first appearance of the 2017–18 season on 16 July, coming on a substitute in a 2–0 loss to Querétaro in the Supercopa MX. On 22 July, he made his first appearance of the 2017 Apertura in a 1–0 loss to Querétaro. He recorded his first assist of the season on 5 August in a 2–1 victory over Pumas UNAM. His first goal of the Apertura came on 19 August, scoring once and assisting for another as Las Águilas defeated Lobos BUAP 3–2. The Apertura season saw improvement from the 2017 Clausura for Quintero and América. Quintero finished with 2 goals and 4 assists to help América qualify for Liguilla. They would advanced past Cruz Azul in the first round before losing to Tigres UANL in the semifinals. For the Apertura 2017 Copa MX, Quintero made his first appearance of the tournament on 8 August, picking up the winning assist in a 2–1 win over Potros UAEM in the second game of the group stage. He would score in the last game of the group stage to help give Las Águilas a 2–0 win against Atlas and secure top spot in the group. On 24 October Quintero assisted the only goal of the game in to give América 1–0 over Cruz Azul in the round of 16. He recorded another assist in their 1–1 draw with Querétaro in the quarterfinals, with América advancing on penalties. Their run would end in the semifinals, losing on penalties to Monterrey.

Quintero made his first appearance of the 2018 Clausura on 7 January, recording an assist in a 1–0 over Querétaro.[35] During a training session on 23 January, Quintero tried to shoot a ball at a reporter who was on live TV. Although Quintero denied that his intention was to hit the reporter, América announced they would sanction him internally.[109] After missing three matches, Quintero came off the bench in a 4–1 win against Morelia on 13 February. His next appearance came on 28 February as he scored once in a 1–1 draw with Deportivo Saprissa in leg two of the round of 16 of the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League. América advanced on aggregate by a score of 6–2. He would appear in both legs of the quarterfinals as they advanced past Tauro, with Quintero picking up an assist in the second leg, which would end up being his final appearance for the club.[35] His time with América was mixed with success and disappointment. He helped the club win trophies, but was also seen as not living up to his price tag, as fans were critical with his inconsistency.[5][3] He was even booed off the pitch at times by América fans.[110]

Minnesota United[edit]

Quintero warming up prior to his Minnesota United debut on 14 April 2018

2018 Season

On March 31, 2018, Quintero joined Major League Soccer side Minnesota United as a Designated Player, the first in the club's history.[111] The transfer fee paid was reported to be $200,000.[112][5] Quintero explained his decision to join Minnesota United by saying he and his family needed a change and new experiences, as well as being intrigued by the club's plans for the future.[8] He made his Minnesota debut on 14 April, scoring once in a 3–2 loss to the Portland Timbers. He recorded his first assist for Minnesota on 22 April in a 3–1 loss to the Seattle Sounders. On 28 April, Quintero made his home debut for the Loons, marking the occasion by scoring once to help Minnesota get a 2–1 victory over the Houston Dynamo. After a relatively quiet three game stretch, he put his name on the scoresheet again on 20 May to give Minnesota a 1–1 draw with Sporting Kansas City. He then entered a five game stretch that saw Quintero record zero goals or assists and Minnesota lose three MLS games and be eliminated in the US Open Cup.[35] Quintero stepped up on July 4 and scored three chipped goals to give the Loons a 4–3 win over Toronto FC, recording the first hat-trick in Minnesota United's history.[113] In his next 7 games, Quintero continued to stay hot, scoring 4 goals and assisting on 7 more.[114] During that stretch he was named to the 2018 MLS All-Star game.[115] He missed the next two games due to a calf injury.[116] Quintero managed to record 6 assists in the final 8 games after returning from injury, but only scored once during that stretch.[5] He had a successful debut season with the Loons, leading the team with 11 goals and 15 assists. Quintero was named to the MLS Team of the Week five times, being named MLS Player of the Week for Week 19.[117] His 15 assists were also tied for the fourth most in the league.[118] Despite Quintero's performances, Minnesota finished 10th place in the Western Conference, missing out on the playoffs by 13 points.[119]

2019 Season

Quintero playing with Minnesota United against New Mexico United in the 2019 US Open Cup

Quintero started the 2019 season off well, scoring once and assisting two more to give Minnesota a 3–1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps in the opening game of the season.[114] He was named to the MLS Team of the Week for Week 1 as a result.[117] In their next game, Quintero scored once and picked up another assist to help the Loons to a 3–0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes.[114] He was once again named to the Team of the Week.[117] On 30 March, Quintero scored his third in the fourth game of the season, a 2–1 loss to the New England Revolution.[114] On 3 April, Quintero suffered a groin injury, but it only forced him to miss one game.[120] On 19 April, Quintero found the back of the net twice, but Minnesota fell to Toronto 4–3. He had 2 assists on 29 June as the Loons defeated FC Cincinnati 7–1. On 3 July Quintero scored once to help Minnesota get a 3–1 win over San Jose. He scored again on 20 July to help Minnesota get a 1–1 draw with Real Salt Lake. On 14 August, Quintero scored to give the Loons a 1–0 victory over the Colorado Rapids. Quintero scored two goals on 15 September to help Minnesota defeat Real Salt Lake 3–1.[114] Although he didn't have as good as a season as 2018, Quintero still managed to score 10 league goals, which led the team. His 5 league assists were the third most on the team.[121] He featured in the MLS team of the Weak four times throughout the season.[117] Quintero also helped the Loons qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in club history.[5] He came off the bench and provided an assist in their first round matchup, a 2–1 defeat to the LA Galaxy.[114]

Quintero and the Loons also enjoyed a successful run in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup. Quintero made his first appearance of the tournament on June 12, scoring twice and added an assist as Minnesota defeated Sporting Kansas City 4–1. In the Round of 16, Quintero scored twice to help the Loons recover from a two goal deficit and defeat the Houston Dynamo 3–2. He scored again in the quarterfinals, helping Minnesota advance past New Mexico United by a score of 6–1. Quintero would score his sixth goal in his fourth Open Cup game of the season to help the Loons defeat the Portland Timbers 2–1 and advance to the first US Open Cup final in club history. He would begin the final on the bench, coming on in the second half. However Quintero was unable to rescue the Loons as they fell to Atlanta United 2–1.[122] Quintero's six goals saw him win the Open Cup Golden boot.[123] He was also named as the Player of the Tournament, the first time the award had gone to a player who failed to win the cup in over a decade.[124]

On 11 November, Quintero took to social media to announce that Minnesota United had declined his contract option. Club spokespeople announced that his option had not been declined. Minnesota was looking to trade Quintero to another MLS team.[125][126] As of the end of the 2019 season, Quintero had scored the most goals and also had the most assists in the club's brief 3-year history.[127]

Houston Dynamo[edit]

On 13 November 2019, Quintero was traded to the Houston Dynamo for Marlon Hairston and $600,000 in allocation money.[128] He suffered a thigh injury in preseason that caused him to miss the season opener.[129] He made his Dynamo debut Houston's second game, coming off the bench on March 7 in a 4–0 to Sporting Kansas City. Soon after, the MLS season was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MLS returned to play in July with the MLS is Back Tournament. On July 13, Quintero recorded 2 assists to help Houston to a 3–3 draw with LAFC in their opening match of the tournament. He scored his first goal for the Dynamo on July 23 in a 1–1 draw with the LA Galaxy.[130]

International career[edit]

Quintero was part of the Colombia U-20 national team in 2007, making 8 appearances and scoring one goal at the 2007 South American U-20 Championship.[131] He made his senior Colombia debut against Paraguay on 11 October 2008 in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification match. He scored his first goal against Mexico in a 2–1 friendly win on 30 September 2009.[132] Although he has not been called up since 2012, Quintero says he still hopes to rejoin the national team and represent his country again.[8]

Career Statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 25 July 2020[133][134][135][136][137]
Club Performance League National Cup Continental Other Total
Club Season League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Deportes Tolima 2005 Categoría Primera A 1 0 1 0
2006 42 19 6[a] 2 48 21
2007 12 5 5[b] 2 17 7
Tolima Total 55 24 0 0 11 4 0 0 66 28
Krylia Sovetov 2007 Russian Premier League 11 1 0 0 11 1
Deportivo Pereira (loan) 2008 Categoría Primera A 12 4 12 4
Deportivo Pereira 2008 22 13 22 13
Pereira Total 34 17 0 0 0 0 34 17
Santos Laguna 2008-09 Primera División 16 4 4[c] 4 20 8
2009-10 41 11 3[d] 0 2[e] 1 46 12
2010-11 33 8 7[c] 3 40 11
2011-12 43 14 8[c] 4 51 18
2012-13 Liga MX 34 13 9[c] 6 43 19
2013-14 41 14 4 5 7[b] 3 52 22
2014-15 17 2 8 0 25 2
Santos Total 225 66 15 5 37 21 277 92
Club América 2014-15 Liga MX 17 1 6[c] 1 1[f] 0 24 2
2015-16 39 12 9[c] 4 1[g] 0 49 16
2016-17 26 2 9 2 3[g] 0 38 4
2017-18 25 2 6 1 3[c] 1 1[h] 0 35 4
América Total 107 17 15 3 18 6 6 0 146 26
Minnesota United 2018 Major League Soccer 27 11 1 0 28 11
2019 30 10 5 6 1[i] 0 37 16
Minnesota Total 57 21 6 6 0 0 1 0 64 25
Houston Dynamo 2020 Major League Soccer 4 1 0 0 0 0 4 1
Career Totals 493 147 36 14 66 31 7 0 602 192
  1. ^ Appearances in Copa Sudamericana
  2. ^ a b Appearances in Copa Libertadores
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Appearances in CONCACAF Champions League
  4. ^ Appearances in InterLiga
  5. ^ Appearances in North American SuperLiga
  6. ^ Appearances in Campeón de Campeones
  7. ^ a b Appearances in FIFA Club World Cup
  8. ^ Appearances in Supercopa MX
  9. ^ Appearances in MLS Cup Playoffs

International[edit]

As of match played 27 November 2019[133]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Colombia 2008 3 0
2009 6 1
2010 2 0
2011 2 0
2012 1 0
Total 14 1

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Colombia's goal tally first.[138]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Final Competition
1. 30 September 2009 Cotton Bowl, Dallas, United States  Mexico 2–0 2–1 Friendly

Personal[edit]

Quintero was born in Tumaco, Colombia, but moved to Cali when he was five, living in the Puerta del Sol district with his dad and sister.[7] He is not named after scientist Charles Darwin, but rather the character in a book his father liked.[139] Quintero says he wanted to be a professional footballer for as long as he can remember, claiming to have letters from when he was seven stating his career goal.[8] Quintero and his wife Valentina Sierra have two kids together.[140]

Quintero became a naturalized citizen of Mexico in 2013.[141] In March 2019, Quintero earned a U.S. green card, which qualifies him as a domestic player for MLS roster purposes.[142]

Honours[edit]

Santos Laguna
América
Individual

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