TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
The Union officially announced the signing of Oravec on Monday morning, signing the defensive midfielder to a three-year contract with an option for a fourth. Philadelphia paid an undisclosed transfer fee. The 21-year-old will be added to the Union’s active roster following receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P1 Visa and will occupy an international roster slot.
"We’re excited to welcome Matej to the Philadelphia Union. He is a mobile, aggressive midfielder who can distribute effectively to start our transitions,” said Union sporting director Ernst Tanner in a statement. “He helps us continue our plan to build a roster that can execute our unique style of play and compete at the top of the Eastern Conference.”
A versatile player, the 21-year-old Oravec has spent the bulk of his starts at either defensive midfield or central defense, though has also featured as a fullback on occasion. The Union view him as a defensive midfielder. He has been capped regularly with the Slovakian youth national teams, including now a regular starter with the U-21 side.
Oravec has featured in all but one of DAC Dunajska Streda's 18 league games this season as the club sit tied for second in the Slovak Super League at the time of his departure. He has spent all of his young career in Slovakia, first with Spartak Trnava then Podbrezova before joining Dunajska Streda last summer.
Oravec is the club's third winter signing, following the permanent acquisition of Jamiro Monteiro on a Designated Player deal as well as Venezuelan defensive midfielder Jose Andres Martinez. Sporting director Ernst Tanner told reporters on a conference call last week that the club planned to add another center back.
Martinez and Oravec typify the transformation Philadelphia are undergoing in midfield, furthering their high-pressing ethos.