Austin FC signed Colombian defensive midfielder Jhojan Valencia to a three-year deal with a club option for the 2025 season. The 25-year-old player will occupy an international spot on the Austin FC roster, left vacant by Tomás Pochettino’s recent move to River Plate.
Valencia spent his career at hometown club Deportivo Cali in Categoría Primera A. He made 73 appearances, registering one goal and one assist for Cali. In 2021, ‘Chicharro’ started in 43 of 50 matches on the path to his club winning the Colombian First Division league championship.
Jhojan also had previous loan stints at Cúcuta Deportivo in 2017 and Unión Magdalena in 2018 and 2019.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but soccer pundit Taylor Twellman indicated it was a “7 figure transfer fee” in a Jan. 12 tweet about the agreement.
Austin FC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna spoke about Valencia’s defensive prowess, going so far as to say it will allow other players to press higher up the field.
“Jhojan is a young, talented midfielder with great defensive instincts and an eye for the ball,” said Austin FC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna. “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.”Claudio Reyna
January 12, 2022
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What does Austin FC get in Jhojan Valencia?
While we thought the center back position would be the Verde’s first significant offseason move, it appears the midfield is key to shoring up the defense in ATXFC’s eyes. The club first locked down Alex Ring in a guaranteed two-year deal (and a designated player tag) and now signs Valencia to a three-year deal.
It’s a big commitment to two players in the spine of the roster.
The 5-foot-8 defensive midfielder from Colombia is expected to hold his own early and often in the back. Given the price tag and distance the club went to sign Valencia, he’ll likely be a starter on Day One.
Claudio Reyna’s statement to the press about Jhojan makes it sound like Alex Ring and Dani Pereira will have a more attacking role in Austin’s formation come 2022 MLS play.
“I’m very excited to come to Austin”
— Jhojan Valencia
Jhojan Valencia Player Bio
Full Name: Jhojan Manuel Valencia Jiménez
DOB: July 27, 1996
Birthplace: Cali, Colombia
Jhojan Valencia Career Stats
|Cúcuta Deportivo (loan)||2017||6||0|
|Unión Magdalena (loan)||2018-2019||69||2|