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Union acquire defensive midfielder Matej Oravec

The Philadelphia Union added a young defensive midfielder to the squad ahead of the 2020 MLS season.

The club announced Monday they’ve signed defensive midfielder Matej Oravec from Slovakian First Division side FK DAC 1904 Dunajska Streda to a three-year contract, with a club option for a fourth year. In exchange, FK DAC has been given an undisclosed transfer fee for Oravec. Oravec will occupy an international roster spot on the Union’s roster.

“We’re excited to welcome Matej to the Philadelphia Union. He is a mobile, aggressive midfielder who can distribute effectively to start our transitions,” Union sporting director Ernst Tanner said. “He helps us continue our plan to build a roster that can execute our unique style of play and compete at the top of the Eastern Conference.”

The 21-year-old Oravec comes to the Union from the Fortuna Liga, while he made 17 combined appearances in the 2019-20 season. He also started two games each in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Europa League and the Slovnaft Cup.

He’s also played for Spartak Trnava and FK Zeleziarne Podbrezova during his young career. In the combined 69 appearances between all teams, Oravec registered two goals and and one assist.

Oravec has also worked his way through the international ranks with his native Slovakia. He’s appeared for the  U-18, U-19 and U-20 Men’s National Teams and is currently a member of the U-21 squad. In 2018 he was nominated for the Golden Boy Award, an award presented to the best U-21 player in Europe.

In total, Oravec has made 20 combined appearances for his country, scoring two goals.

He joins a Union midfield with the likes of Alejandro Bedoya, Jamiro Monteiro, Brenden Aaronson, and Warren Creavalle.

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