FC Cincinnati on Monday announced the acquisition of defender Gustavo Vallecilla on loan from Ecuadorian side SD Aucas for the 2021 season.
Vallecilla, 21, will occupy an international roster spot. He’ll be added to the club’s roster after his visa and transfer certificate are complete.
After initial reports by Nick Seuberling on last week’s Cincinnati Soccer Talk podcast that FC Cincinnati was adding two players, Laurel Pfahler of Queen City Press reported the additions would be Vallecilla and winger Isaac Atanga.
The addition of Vallecilla checks one of the final boxes left on general manager Gerard Nijkamp’s offseason list.
“We’ve made it a priority to add a center back to our roster prior to the start of the season, and we believe Gustavo provides a skillset that fits well with our playing philosophy,” said Nijkamp in a club statement announcing the loan. “He is a young player with a promising profile who adds balance to our roster composition. We look forward to Gustavo competing within our current group welcoming him to Cincinnati.”
Vallecilla spent time on loan last season with Barcelona SC Guayaquil (Ecuador), where he featured in 18 matches in the club’s COVID-19 disrupted season. The center back was originally thought to be returning to Barcelona for the 2021 season, where he helped BSC win the league and qualify for the 2021 Copa Libertadores.
Vallecilla does have some history with the United States. The defender started in Ecuador’s 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup fixture vs. the USA. Ecuador would go on to defeat the American squad 2-1 in the quarterfinals before losing to South Korea in the semi-finals. He did pick up a medal in third place match where Vallecilla helped shut out Italy 1-0. Vallecilla has continued to feature in the Ecuadorian youth national team, starting two matches for the U-23’s in their CONMEBOL Olympic qualifying campaign in 2020.
Internationally, Vallecilla has made a combined 21 appearances for Ecuador’s youth national teams at the U-20 and U-23 levels.