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Columbus Crew SC Signs Defender Milton Valenzuela on Loan From Argentina

January 27, 2018 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Columbus Crew SC News Release

COLUMBUS - Columbus Crew SC today announced that the club has signed defender Milton Valenzuela (pronounced: VAH-len-SWAY-la) on loan as a Young Designated Player from Argentina First Division side Newell's Old Boys, with the option to purchase his contract at the end of the 2018 Major League Soccer season. Crew SC will utilize Targeted Allocation Money on Jonathan Mensah this season after Mensah was a Designated Player last season, thus enabling Crew SC to bring in Valenzuela as the team's third Designated Player, with Federico Higuain and Pedro Santos to round-out the club's three Designated Player status slots. Valenzuela, the 19-year-old defender, has featured for Argentina's Under-20 National Team and most recently participated in the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Valenzuela will officially be added to the Black & Gold roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa and will occupy an international roster slot on Crew SC's roster.

"Milton is a talented, young player who has a high pedigree at both the professional and youth international level," said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. "His skillset 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. 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 is a product of Newell's Old Boys youth academy, which he joined at the age of 14. The defender made his debut with the club's first team as a substitute in a home match against Club Atletico de San Martin on February 6, 2016. Valenzuela was officially promoted to Newell's Old Boys first team on July 1, 2016 and made three appearances (three starts) during the 2016-2017 season. During the first part of the 2017-2018 season, the 19-year-old made nine appearances (seven starts). In all, Valenzuela made 13 appearances (10 starts) for Newell's Old Boys in the Primera Division. The Rosario native also made two appearances (both starts) for the club in Copa Argentina, Argentina's domestic cup.

FAST FACTS: At the international level, Valenzuela has featured for Argentina's Under-20 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 U-20 World Cup in South Korea. Valenzuela also made two appearances (all starts) in the group stage of the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Under Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter, the club trains in Casa Grande, Arizona for its preseason camp from January 26 - February 6 . From there, Crew SC will be in Hawaii for the inaugural Pacific Rim Cup from February 6-11. During the window of February 15-25, the club will be in Charleston, South Carolina to participate in the 2018 Carolina Challenge Cup. More information on Season Ticket Memberships for the 2018 season at MAPFRE Stadium is available at ColumbusCrewSC.com.

With the addition of Milton Valenzuela, Crew SC's current 2018 roster - listed alphabetically below - now stands at 25 players: Goalkeepers (3): Jon Kempin, Logan Ketterer, Zack Steffen Defenders (8): Lalas Abubakar, Harrison Afful, Alex Crognale, Connor Maloney, Jonathan Mensah, Gaston Sauro, Milton Valenzuela, Josh Williams Midfielders (11): Mohammed Abu, Artur, Niko Hansen, Federico Higuain, Mike Grella, Hector Jimenez, Cristian Martinez, Justin Meram, Pedro Santos, Eduardo Sosa, Wil Trapp Forwards (3): Adam Jahn, Edward Opoku, Gyasi Zardes

TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew SC signs defender Milton Valenzuela (pronounced: VAH-len-SWAY-la) on loan as a Young Designated Player from Newell's Old Boys on January 26, 2018, with the option to purchase his contract at the end of the 2018 Major League Soccer season. He will officially be added to the Black & Gold roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa, also occupying an international roster spot. Crew SC has utilized Targeted Allocation Money to allow for the opening of the third Designated Spot to be occupied by Valenzuela. Crew SC will utilize Targeted Allocation Money on Jonathan Mensah this season after Mensah was a Designated Player last season, thus enabling Crew SC to bring in Valenzuela as the team's third Designated Player, with Federico Higuain and Pedro Santos to round-out the club's three Designated Player status slots.

Name: Milton Valenzuela (VAH-len-SWAY-la), Position: Defender, Height: 5'6", Weight: 145, Born: August 13, 1998 in Rosario, Argentina, Hometown: Rosario, Argentina, Citizenship: Argentina, Acquired: Signed by Crew SC on loan as a Young Designated Player from Newell's Old Boys on January 26, 2018, with the option to purchase his contract at the end of the 2018 Major League Soccer season. He will occupy an international roster slot on Crew SC's roster, Previous Experience: Newell's Old Boys (2016-2017).

ABOUT COLUMBUS CREW SC: Columbus Crew SC (Soccer Club) is the first club in Major League Soccer and in 2015, Crew SC was crowned MLS Eastern Conference Champions in the organization's 20th season. Owned and operated by Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV), it won its first MLS Cup championship in 2008 and also won the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as MLS Supporters' Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. The 201 8 campaign is the Black & Gold's 20th season at historic MAPFRE Stadium -- the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States. The club was purchased by PSV on July 29, 2013 as part of the privately held investment and management firm's sports and entertainment business enterprise, and the club has qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs in three of the four seasons since, including winning the Eastern Conference Championship in 2015.

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