The reshaping of the FC Cincinnati backline continues to take shape with the club on Monday announcing the loan capture of Gustavo Vallecilla.
The 21-year old Ecuadorean, rumored for a week with the club, joins FC Cincinnati side on loan from SD Aucas in Ecuador’s top flite. He has 47 appearances with 27 starts in a career that began when he made his professional debut at 17-years old with Deportivo Cuenca.
He has been with three clubs in Ecuador, most recently with SD Aucas, who’s most famous player is legendary Colombian international goalkeeper Rene Heguita.
“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,” FC Cincinnati General Manager Gerard Nijkamp said. “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.”
The move for a young defender is another chapter in what has been a truly solid offseason for FC Cincinnati as Nijkamp has pieced together an improved roster. The headline moves, adding Brazilian Brenner and signing Luciano Acosta, will surely be a jolt to a team that struggled offensively a season ago.
But Vallecilla is part of an improved backline that figures to be better than a year ago. Truthfully, they can’t get much worse than what was seen in 2020.
Defensively, FC Cincinnati struggled last year – and that might be an understatement. In 16 games, they conceded 36 goals, the highest per game goals allowed average in MLS.
They finished the season with the worst points per game from results in the league. The club clearly has higher ambitions this season than their bottom of the table finish in 2020.
Vallecilla will factor into the backline along with Rónald Matarrita, acquired this offseason from New York City FC. The left back, who is a regular for the Costa Rican national team, made 104 appearances over five seasons for his old MLS club, becoming one of the best outside backs in the league during that time.