The Black and Gold of Columbus Crew SC have their man in Milton Valenzuela. Columbus announced on Thursday that they have signed the young Argentine fullback on loan as a Young Designated Player.
Columbus Crew SC sign Milton Valenzuela
Columbus acquired the 19-year-old from Newell's Old Boys, with the option to purchase his contract at the end of the 2018 MLS season.
Crew SC also announced that they will utilize Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) on defender Jonathan Mensah this season after the Ghanaian was a Designated Player last season. This will enable Crew SC to use Valenzuela as their third designated player. The other two are listed as Federico Higuain and Pedro Santos.
About Milton Valenzuela
"Milton is a talented, young player who has a high pedigree at both the professional and youth international level. His skill set has allowed him to gain critical experience playing in one of the continent's most competitive leagues while featuring prominently for Argentina's Under-20 National Team," said Head Coach and Sporting Director Gregg Berhalter.
"Milton has the character and determination to succeed in MLS and we are excited to welcome him to Columbus Crew SC, where we expect him to make an immediate impact."
Valenzuela has featured for Argentina's Under-20 National Team and has recently participated in the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He will officially be added to the roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa, all while occupying an international roster slot.
The young Argentine defender is a product of the Newell's Old Boys academy, which he joined at age 14. He also made his debut with the club's first team as a substitute in a home match against Club Atletico de Sam Martin in February of 2016.
He was then officially promoted to the first team in July of 2016. There, he made three appearances (three starts) during the 2016-17 season.
In the first part of the 2017-18 season, he made nine appearances (seven starts). Toal, Valenzuela made 13 appearances (10 starts). The Rosario native has also made appearances (both starts)for the Club in Copa Argentina.
Valenzuela International Stats
As mentioned before, Valenzuela has featured for Argentina's U-20 squad. There he earned 10 caps (nine starts). The defender also featured in eight of Argentina's nine matches at the 2017 South American Youth Football Championship. During that time, he made seven starts while helping his country qualify for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea. Valenzuela has also made two appearances (all starts) in the group stage of the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Columbus is currently training in Casa Grande, Arizona for its preseason camp from January 26 to February 6.