Tacoma Defiance Loans Midfielder Juan Alvarez

TACOMA, WASH. – Defiance announced today that midfielder Juan Alvarez has been loaned out to FC Pinzgau Saalfelden in Austria until the end of the club’s current season. The club have also exercised midfielder Fito Ovalle’s option for the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season.

“We are delighted that Juan has the opportunity to grow abroad as a person and professionally while on loan at Pinzgau,” said Henry Brauner, Vice President of Player Development. “We look forward to experiencing a new environment for him. We’re also excited to bring Fito back to Defiance. He brings a level of leadership and intensity that is an integral part of the environment we are trying to create. His maturity and humanity is why we look forward to continuing to work with him and watching him develop.”

18-year-old Alvarez was loaned to Austria’s FC Pinzgau Saalfelden until the end of the current season. Alvarez, a Sounders FC Academy alum, made his first appearance for Tacoma in the 2021 season before playing 23 games in 2022, notching goals against Minnesota on July 17 and San Jose on August 5, and assists against St. Louis on 30 July and City delivered against Kansas on 08/20.

“We’re excited to offer Juan this loan experience,” said Wade Webber, Tacoma Defiance head coach. “Living in a different country and playing in a different environment requires an adaptability that we believe Juan possesses. Players lucky enough to have these experiences are rarely the same person or player when they return and we are confident that Juan will bring something unique to FC Pinzgau. We look forward to seeing him compete in Austria.”

The 25-year-old Ovalle started 11 of 17 games for Tacoma last season, including both playoff games. The midfielder scored a crucial goal against Vancouver Whitecaps II (September 9) and added an assist against St. Louis CITY2 (July 30). Prior to Defiance, Ovalle played for Forward Madison and Toronto FC II while both clubs played in USL League One. The Chilean native of Temuco has also spent time at Real Monarchs, Real Salt Lake, Italian clubs Fidelis Andria and Sambenedettese and Rangers de Talca from the Chilean Liga Primera B.

“We are very excited that Fito will be back with Defiance in 2023,” Webber said. “He brings a wealth of experience to our group and will rely on him to guide and lead the team. He also has the technical quality and football intelligence to improve our performances. Fito’s return is welcome news for our team.”

The move brings Tacoma’s roster to 14 players as the club prepares for the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season.

TRANSACTION: Tacoma Defiance is loaning midfielder Juan Alvarez to FC Pinzgau until the end of the club’s current season, exercising the option for midfielder Fito Ovalle on February 1, 2023.

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