Your daily dose of Austin
Smartphone image
×
Make your inbox more Austin.
Local news and fun, every day 6am.
Signing season: Austin FC acquires Colombian midfielder Jhojan Valencia

Austin FC has signed midfielder Jhojan Valencia (left) as its newest recruit. (Deportivo Cali/Twitter)

Austin FC announced the signing of 25-year-old Colombian central midfielder Jhojan Valencia on Thursday as the club continues to fill more holes in the roster heading into the 2022 season.


Austin FC signed Valencia to a three-year contract with an option to keep him through the 2025 season in one of the team's international slots. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Valencia's profile may ring a bell for some Austin FC fans—the news comes just over a week after the club announced that 25-year-old central midfielder Tomas Pochettino would return to his home country to play on loan with Argentinian side River Plate. Austin could see Valencia as a potential Poche replacement.

Valencia comes to Austin hot off of a 2021 league championship title after leading his team Deportivo Cali to Colombia's Category Primera A championships. A native of Cali, Valencia made 73 appearances for his home team from 2015 to 2021, registering two goals and taking home two league championships. From 2017-2019, Valencia went on loan for Colombian clubs Cucuta Deportivo and Union Magdalena, helping promote Union Magdalena to the top-flight league in 2019. Valencia has a grand total of 163 appearances with the three clubs.

After three years playing for his hometown, Valencia said in a press release that he's hungry for more trophies in a new city.

“I’m very excited to come to Austin,” Valencia said. “It’s such an amazing city, with great support for the Club and everything needed to compete for trophies. I want to thank Claudio and Josh for their support, and I look forward to all of the great moments ahead.”

The signing comes two days after Austin FC made three key signings in the MLS SuperDraft, including No. 5 overall pick Kipp Keller, the draft's best center back; left back Charlie Asensio and midfielder Michael Knapp.

At the onset of the offseason, Austin FC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said the team was looking for three to five more recruits to push them into playoff contention in 2022—and with the signings of Valencia, midfielder Ethan Finlay and striker Maxi Urruti, it seems like the Verde and Black are close to rounding out their roster.

Reyna said Valencia could help bring new energy to the pitch and help give Austin's strikers the chance to score goals.

“Jhojan is a young, talented midfielder with great defensive instincts and an eye for the ball,” Reyna said. “His presence will add a new dimension to our midfield and free up some of our more attack-minded players to get forward and create chances. We look forward to welcoming him to Austin."

The club will put their new and old players to the test for the first time in the home opener against FC Cincinnati on Saturday, Feb. 26.

Popular

When Mach .925 is not enough: Elon Musk to upgrade his Gulfstream private jet

(Gulfstream)

Elon Musk has placed an order for a new, top-of-the-line private jet: a Gulfstream G700, Austonia has learned. Delivery is expected in early 2023.

Keep ReadingShow less
Valencia Hotel Group Presents Live Music & Longnecks - All Summer Long

(Valencia Hotel Group)

Live music and beer? Say no more. With a location in Austin, and others throughout Texas, the court hotels by the Valencia Hotel Group have a new offering for weekend stays: Live Music & Longnecks.

Enjoy live music all weekend long and check out the hotels’ state-of-the-art amenities between sets. Make a splash in the pool, enjoy outdoor fire pits, or challenge your friends in a yard game while enjoying a weekend full of live music! Did we mention the package includes deluxe accommodations and a bucket of beer? Oh, and if you needed more convincing, this pet-friendly hotel means the whole family can join in on the fun.

Keep ReadingShow less