New Atlanta United acquisition Hector Villalba will head south of the border for the remainder of 2016.
The 21-year-old winger, who Atlanta acquired from Argentine club San Lorenzo on July 22, is set to the rest of the year on loan at Tijuana, the upcoming MLS expansion side announce on Thursday.
Atlanta had already confirmed that Villalba would spend the rest of 2016 on loan when they announced his signing, and the Liga MX side last week indicated that Villalba would be linking up with them:
The loan to Tijuana became official upon receipt of Villalba's international transfer certificate, making him eligible for Xolos' Liga MX game on Saturday at Cruz Azul.
“We’re pleased to have Tito on loan with Xolos in the Mexican top division,” said Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra, in a statement provided by the club. “He will be competing in a tough league which will challenge him and keep him sharp. He’ll also have several American teammates and will be in close proximity to the United States which will allow him to begin working on his English language skills.”
Villalba made over 100 first-team appearances in four years with San Lorenzo, recording 16 goals and helping San Lorenzo to the 2014 Copa Libertadores title.
Managed by former Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera, Tijuana has several US national team players on the roster, including defenders Michael Orozco and Greg Garza and pre-Copa America Centenario call-ups Paul Arriola and Amando Moreno.