Press Release

Tacoma Defiance Loans Midfielder Juan Alvarez


TACOMA, WASH. – Defiance today announced that it has loaned midfielder Juan Alvarez to FC Pinzgau Saalfelden in Austria through the end of the club’s current campaign. The club has also exercised the option of midfielder Fito Ovalle for the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season.

“We are happy for Juan to have the opportunity to grow as a person and professional abroad while on loan with Pinzgau,” said Vice President of Player Development Henry Brauner. “We are excited for him experience a new environment. We also are thrilled to bring Fito back to Defiance. He brings a level of leadership and intensity that is an essential part of the environment we are trying to create. His maturity and who he is as a human are why we are excited to continue working with and watching him develop.”

Alvarez, 18, has been loaned to Austria’s FC Pinzgau Saalfelden through the end of the club’s current season. A Sounders FC Academy alum, Alvarez made his first appearance for Tacoma during the 2021 season before making 23 appearances in 2022, recording goals against Minnesota on July 17 and San Jose on August 5 as well as assists against St. Louis on July 30 and Kansas City on August 20.

“We are excited to offer this loan experience for Juan,” said Tacoma Defiance Head Coach Wade Webber. “Living in a different country and playing in a different environment requires an ability to adapt that we think Juan possesses. For players lucky enough to have these experiences, they are seldom the same person or player when they return, and we are confident Juan will offer something unique to FC Pinzgau. We look forward watching him compete in Austria.”

Ovalle, 25, started 11 of 17 matches for Tacoma last season, including both playoff matches. The midfielder scored a game-winning goal against Vancouver Whitecaps II (September 9) and added an assist against St. Louis CITY2 (July 30). Prior to his time with Defiance, Ovalle played for Forward Madison and Toronto FC II while both clubs were in USL League One. The Temuco, Chile native has also spent time with Real Monarchs, Real Salt Lake, Italian clubs Fidelis Andria and Sambenedettese, as well as Rangers de Talca of Chile’s Primera B league.

“We are so happy that Fito will again be with Defiance in 2023,” said Webber. “He brings a wealth of experience to our group and will be leaned upon to provide guidance and leadership for the team. He also has the technical quality and soccer intelligence to make a difference in our performances. The sort of player who makes those around him better, Fito’s return is welcome news for our team.”

The move brings Tacoma’s roster to 14 players as the club prepares for the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season.

TRANSACTION: Tacoma Defiance loans midfielder Juan Alvarez to FC Pinzgau through the end of the club’s current campaign and exercises option for midfielder Fito Ovalle on February 1, 2023.