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Las Vegas acquires Argentine goalkeeper Leonardo Diaz on loan from River Plate

By Staff, 03/02/23, 9:13AM EST


23-year-old joined by defensive midfielder Jimenez, defender Mitrano as club continues to build squad

Las Vegas Lights FC has acquired Argentine goalkeeper Leonardo Diaz on loan from River Plate for the 2023 USL Championship season.

LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas Lights FC has acquired goalkeeper Leonardo Diaz on loan from Argentine club River Plate ahead of the 2023 USL Championship season, with the 23-year-old being joined by forward Tabort Etaka Preston and new signings Andres Jimenez and Alejandro Mitrano as the club continues to build its squad under Head Coach Isidro Sanchez.

Diaz arrives in Las Vegas having made one senior appearance in his native Argentina, which came against River Plate’s rival Boca Juniors in the Quarterfinals of the Argentine league playoffs in 2021 as River fell 5-3 in a penalty shootout after playing to a 1-1 draw during regulation. Diaz was also previously an Argentine U-20 international, making one appearance for the side in 2018.

Preston makes his return to Lights FC having previously competed for the club in the 2019 season. That year was the 24-year-old’s best in the Championship so far as he recorded eight goals and three assists in 31 appearances. Since then, the Cameroonian has also competed for San Antonio FC and Hartford Athletic before making 26 appearances for New Mexico United and recording three goals this past season.

Jimenez returns to the United States after beginning his career in Colombia with Envigado. The 22-year-old Miami native joined the professional ranks last year after previously competing for Envigado’s U-20 squad and made 13 appearances across the league and cup competitions, primarily as a holding midfielder.

Mitrano joins Lights FC after most recently competing in his native Venezuela for Monagas SC, where he made five appearances during the 2022 season. The 24-year-old left back had previously been part of the Uruguayan top flight club Boston River, while previously coming through the ranks in Europe at Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic and Serbia’s Michalovce.

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