Columbus Crew SC Sign Argentine defender Milton Valenzuela
Columbus Crew SC acquired defender Milton Valenzuela on a permanent transfer from Newell’s Old Boys as a Young Designated Player. He will continue to occupy an international roster spot for Crew SC pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate.
MLS Soccer News: Columbus Crew SC of Major League Soccer (MLS) has acquired defender Milton Valenzuela on a permanent transfer as a Young Designated Player. The Argentine defender joins the club following his initial 2018 loan to Columbus from Newell’s Old Boys of Argentina’s First Division.
Valenzuela will be Crew SC’s third Designated Player, with Federico Higuain and Pedro Santos filling the remaining two spots for the club. Valenzuela, 20, played for the black and gold during the 2018 MLS season on loan and will continue to occupy an international roster spot.
Valenzuela joined Columbus on loan on January 26, 2018, making his club and MLS debut as a starter in a road match versus Toronto FC on March 3rd. He provided the game-winning assist in Crew SC’s 2-0 victory.
The defender made 30 appearances (29 starts) during the regular season, scoring one goal and providing six assists, including two game-winning assists. Valenzuela scored his first regular-season goal for the Crew in a 3-1 home victory over D.C. United at MAPFRE Stadium on March 24th.
“Milton is a player who was able to make an immediate impact on the field at a young age and has become one of the premier left-backs in Major League Soccer. We felt that securing his permanent transfer from Newell’s Old Boys was a priority this offseason,” said Crew SC Interim General Manager Pat Onstad. “We are excited to have him back with the Club for the upcoming season and look forward to seeing his continued development and growth.”
The Argentine completed 27 crosses from open play in regular-season action – more than any other defender in MLS – and recorded the fourth-highest number of tackles during the 2018 regular season. Of his 87 tackles, the 20-year-old won 57 of them, the third-most among MLS defenders during the regular season. Valenzuela led Crew SC in the following categories: tackles (87), tackles won (57), tackles per 90 minutes (3.06) and successful open crosses (27).
Prior to joining Crew SC, Valenzuela played for Newell’s Old Boys of the Superliga Argentina where he made 13 appearances (10 starts). The Rosario native made two appearances (both starts) for the club in Copa Argentina, Argentina’s domestic cup. At the international level, Valenzuela featured for Argentina’s U20 squad, earning 10 caps (nine starts). The defender featured in eight of Argentina’s nine matches at the 2017 South American Youth Football Championship, making seven starts while helping Argentina qualify for the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup in South Korea. Valenzuela made two appearances (all starts) in the group stage of the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup.
Crew SC’s current roster heading into the 2019 campaign is listed below:
Goalkeepers (3): Jon Kempin, Ben Lundgaard, Zack Steffen.
Defenders (8): Lalas Abubakar, Harrison Afful, Alex Crognale, Connor Maloney, Jonathan Mensah, Gaston Sauro, Milton Valenzuela, Josh Williams.
Midfielders (10): Luis Argudo, Artur, Niko Hansen, Federico Higuain, Hector Jimenez, Justin Meram, Edward Opoku, Pedro Santos, Eduardo Sosa, Wil Trapp.
Forwards (2): Patrick Mullins, Gyasi Zardes.
Photo Credit: Columbus Crew SC