El Paso Locomotive FC has signed Hungarian defender Bence Pavkovics ahead of the new USL Championship season.
EL PASO, Texas – El Paso Locomotive FC announced on Friday the club had signed Bence Pavkovics for the upcoming 2023 USL Championship season. The transaction is pending league and federation approval.
“We’re excited to have a central back like Pavkovics come in from the top league in Hungary,” Head El Paso Coach and Technical Director Brian Clarhaut said. “He has the traits that we are looking for: highly athletic, quick and good on the ball. We’re looking forward to getting him here with his experience and we believe he can make an impact on the team.”
The 25-year-old last played for Debreceni VSC, which currently competes in the first tier of Hungarian professional soccer, Nemzeti Bajnoksag I. He initially joined the club on a loan deal for the 2018/19 season but was then signed to a full contract after he established himself as a key player. That season, the club finished fourth in the league and clinched qualification to compete in the first qualifying round of the 2019/20 Europa League.
Additionally in that first season with the club, Pavkovics contributed to the squad’s deep run in the Magyar Kupa (Hungary’s annual cup competition open to all clubs across the country). The club made it all the way to the semifinals, losing to eventual champions MOL Fehervar FC.
For the 2019/20 Europa League qualifying campaign, Pavkovics played all four matches before the side fell to Italian Serie A side Torino in the second round.
The 2019/20 regular season, however, saw the club hit a rough patch that ultimately relegated it to the second division. Yet, in a remarkable turnaround, Pavkovics would help the squad finish first in the Nemzeti Bajnoksag II, claiming the 2020/21 league title and clinching promotion back to the top division.
In all competitions with Debreceni, Pavkovics made 118 appearances, scored seven goals and assisted three. Prior to Debreceni, he played with Ujpest FC from 2015-18, making 43 appearances for the club and was a member of the 2017/18 squad that brought home the Magyar Kupa.