San Antonio FC has signed attacking midfielder Cristian Parano, who helped the club claim the USL Championship title while on loan from F.C. Pacos de Ferreira at the end of the 2022 season. | Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio FC announced on Thursday the club had signed attacking midfielder Cristian Parano ahead of the 2023 USL Championship season. The transaction is pending league and federation approval, and per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The 2019 USL Championship Young Player of the Year signs with San Antonio having most recently concluded the 2022 campaign with the club after arriving on loan from Portuguese club F.C. Pacos de Ferreira last August. With SAFC in 2022, Parano recorded three assists and scored once in 879 minutes across 13 appearances. The midfielder started and played 84 minutes for San Antonio in the USL Championship Final, starting the break that led to Santiago Patiño’s 70th minute goal in the 3-1 win.
“We are thrilled to welcome Cristian back to the team. He is one of the top performers in the USL Championship who consistently displays game-changing abilities,” said SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina. “Cristian is an exceptional person who demonstrates championship behaviors and will serve as a key contributor to our title defense.”
Parano’s lone goal on the season came in the regular season finale, a second-half strike that served as the game-tying goal in a 2-2 draw against Orange County SC.
The 23-year-old had previously competed for San Antonio in the 2019 and 2020 seasons, scoring 11 goals and tallying 10 assists. In 2019, Parano’s first year with San Antonio, the Argentine midfielder scored seven goals with six assists while being named USL Championship Young Player of the Year.
After the 2020 season, Parano joined F.C. Pacos De Ferreira in Portugal’s top flight before being loaned to PAE Chania in the Greek Super League 2.