Matej Oravec of DAC Dunajska Streda is headed to the Philadelphia Union. The Slovakian defensive midfielder is a great signing for both the present and future.
A third offseason signing has been announced by the Philadelphia Union. The club acquired Matej Oravec from DAC Dunajska Streda of the Slovakian top flight. Oravec is primarily a defensive midfielder and center-back. However, he has made a few appearances at right-back as well.
At just 21, Oravec has been playing in Slovakia’s first division since the 2016/17 season. During this year’s campaign, he made 17 appearances and has 54 in total. Boasting such experience at such a young age is extremely impressive and a clear illustration of his talent and potential.
In addition to his domestic experience, Oravec brings high-level competitive European experience. He made five appearances in the Europa League in 2018/19 season, scoring once in Europe’s second-tier competition. He faced teams like Fenerbache and Dynamo Zagreb before then playing two matches in the qualifying rounds this season.
For his home country of Slovakia, Oravec has featured for the European nation’s youth teams throughout the early years of his career and is seen as a future national team starter later in his career.
For the benefit of the present and the future, the Philadelphia Union have made a very good decision to bring in Oravec. His three-year contract ensures his long-term future will be with the club, while in the upcoming season, he will be relied upon to provide depth both defensively and in midfield.
And with Haris Mendujanin departing earlier in the season, the Philadelphia Union were looking for a ball-winner at the base of the midfield. And as Sporting Director Ernst Tanner’s statement details quite clearly, that is who the Union hope Oravec can become:
More from MLS Multiplex
- Javier Milei Elected in Argentina: Potential Impacts on MLS and Signings of Argentine Players
- Orlando City and New York City FC in the Battle for Matías Arezo; Grêmio Enters Negotiations! Who Will Come Out on Top?
- USA, Honduras, Panama, and Canada Close in on a Spot in the 2024 Copa America
- De Gea Turns Down Al-Nassr’s Lucrative Offer: Speculation Points to Possible Reunion with Messi at Inter Miami
- Messi’s Magnetic Impact in the United States
"“We need to replace Haris in a way. That’s difficult enough in the game with the ball, but we were looking for a more defensive-oriented player in holding mid as we try to reduce our goals against. If you want to play transitions, then you need to win the ball some way. Matej for sure has that ability, but he can also distribute it. He’s very versatile in terms of the position. He could also play as a center back, but I don’t like that. I see him purely as a holding midfielder.”"
Opportunities should present themselves for Oravec to try and compete for a regular spot in the starting XI. He is a young player who could really show signs of growth as the year progresses. His experience playing top division soccer will give him the tools necessary to compete for minutes on the team.
And more than just the immediate present, Oravec offers viable financial potential. Just as other MLS teams have acquired young talent with the intention of selling for massive profit, the Union could take a similar approach with Oravec, should he develop in their system as hoped.
The Union already have a host of young players on their roster. Oravec will be joining them, offering short-term impact thanks to his quality and experience and long-term financial potential with the possibility of a sale. For the present and future, then, this is a very smart move from the Philadelphia Union.