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Kickers Add Bite at the Back with Monticelli

March 4, 2021 - United Soccer League One (USL1) - Richmond Kickers News Release

RICHMOND, Va. - The Richmond Kickers have signed defender Juan Pablo Monticelli for the 2021 USL League One season, pending league and federation approval.

"Juan Pablo gives us a quality left-footed player at both the left-back spot as well as the left-center back spot," noted Chief Sporting Officer and Head Coach Darren Sawatzky. "He is hungry and does not shy away from the physical part of the game. His bite and competitive nature fit well in our culture here and he is looking to grow as a young professional, so it is great that we add him to the mix. His experience in USL League One will be imperative as we navigate a full season."

Bringing League One experience to Richmond, Monticelli made 14 appearances and 11 starts for Orlando City B. A bright spot on the roster, the El Paso, Texas native led the club in key defensive categories, including clearances (48) -- a stat that was the 10th best in the league -- interceptions (22), aerial duels (35), and blocks (18). Calm and collected when he is on the ball, Monticelli had a pass completion rate of 76.7 percent and had four key passes in the 2020 USL League One season.

"The Kickers are a very well-rounded organization," said Monticelli. "The fans are great, the team has a lot of talent, and it is very well-coached. When Darren reached out to me, it did not take much thought to commit to this team and this city."

Playing against the Kickers on two occasions last season, Monticelli knew exactly what type of style and culture he was about to join when signing his contract: "Playing against Richmond last season, it was clear that they play to win. They are a very attacking-minded team that knows how to get results."

After spending his youth career in the FC Dallas Academy, Monticelli had the opportunity to join Club Tijuana to continue his development with their U20 team. After moving up to the club's second team, Monticelli had loan spells with Irapuato and Coras de Nayarit FC to keep developing and learning the professional game. He made 36 appearances for Coras de Nayarit FC in 2018-2019, scoring five goals for Los Coras -- the third-highest on the team.

Teaming up for the 2021 Kickers squad with other high performing defenders and goalkeepers from the 2020 USL League One season, Monticelli is firm about the plans for the new season: "My goal for the team is to make the playoffs and make a run to win the league," continued Monticelli. "My personal goal is for our defense to be the team with the most shutouts in the league."

The 2021 roster is close to being complete, which means it is time to make sure you will be at City Stadium to see them in action with your Kickers+ subscription. Kickers+ is a brand new subscription service for the 2021 season that provides fans tons of value, flexibility, and sweet perks! Sign up today for only $59.99 - Kickers+ benefits include 50% off tickets to any regular season home match, 15% off merchandise at, exclusive digital content, member events, and more! Click here for more info and to join today!

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TRANSACTION: Richmond Kickers have signed defender Juan Pablo Monticelli for the 2021 USL League One season on March 4, 2021.

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