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Chattanooga Adds Former U18 USMNT and Club Tijuana Defender Jonathan Esparza

January 21, 2021 - United Soccer League One (USL1) - Chattanooga Red Wolves SC News Release

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.​ - This afternoon Chattanooga announced Jonathan Esparza as their first new defensive addition to the 2021 roster.

Originally from Chula Vista California, the 21 year old outside back has had a strong and well traveled career. Esparza landed a spot on the U-18 US Men's National Team before signing professionally to Club Tijuana of Liga MX in 2018. During his career at Club Tijuana, Esparza had stints on loan to Oaxaca and most recently Celaya of Ascenso MX.

Esparza will be joining a strong group of returners in Chattanooga's backline, including Jason Ramos, Jonathan Ricketts and ​2020 League One All-League Second Team selection Ricky Ruiz.​ "One of the first tasks Coach Obleda had for building his 2021 roster was solidifying the depth of our defenders so it was critical that we find the right personnel for this role," says GM Sean McDaniel. "Jonathan fits perfectly into the system as well as the Red Wolves culture and will be a great addition to our back line for 2021."

The 21 year old defender has also played professionally both as a forward and in the midfield, creating a unique offensive skill set for an outside back. "Jonathan is a young player that brings a level of experience and bite that we are looking to have in our back line," says Head Coach Jimmy Obleda. "He brings the extra that cannot be taught. He adds to the depth we want to have in the back line."

Esparza is excited to step on the pitch for the Red Wolves and also to live in the Scenic City. "My soccer career has taken me to the most amazing cities full of culture," says Esparza. "From what I have seen and read, Chattanooga is just that, a beautiful city with many scenic places, culture and history that I am excited to explore. I will wear this crest with pride. I am counting down the days to step onto the CHI Memorial Stadium and make Chattanooga proud. I will work hard and do everything in my power to bring a championship to the city."

Esparza is the 13th player signed to the Red Wolves 2021 Roster ​joining newcomers Josue Espana, Jose Carrera Garcia, Jimmie Villalobos, Jackson Dieterich, Sebastian Mora-Mora and returners Ualefi Dos Reis, Ami Pineda, Ronaldo Pineda, Marky Hernandez, Ricky Ruiz, Jonathan Ricketts, Jason Ramos and Tim Trilk. More player announcements are expected in the coming weeks.

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