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FC Tulsa brings aboard Justin Portillo for 2024 season

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 11/22/23, 9:00AM EST

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Veteran midfielder won USL Championship with Real Monarchs SLC, has made more than 225 appearances in league


Justin Portillo completed more than 3,000 passes over the past two seasons with New Mexico United as he arrives to bolster FC Tulsa's midfield. | Photo courtesy Brandino / New Mexico United

TULSA, Okla. – FC Tulsa announced on Tuesday the club had signed midfielder Justin Portillo ahead of the 2024 USL Championship season. The transaction is pending league and federation approval.

“Justin is a proven talent that fits what we are trying to build,” said FC Tulsa Head Coach Blair Gavin. “His winning mentality plus his on field qualities will help us improve our club’s playing style. We are thrilled to have him at FC Tulsa and look forward to working together soon.”

Portillo has made 234 appearances in the USL Championship across the regular season and playoffs, spending the past two seasons with New Mexico United. This past campaign he recorded five goals and five assists in 33 appearances, logging 2,906 minutes and 56 chances created.

“It’s been clear to see the progress and vision of the club going forward,” said Portillo, “After speaking with Blair and [FC Tulsa President] Sam [Doerr], the decision to be a part of what is going on in Tulsa was an easy decision for me.”

Analysis

Justin Portillo’s arrival at FC Tulsa not only brings a player with the qualities Head Coach Blair Gavin is aiming to see from his team on the field, but also brings an experienced head into the squad that can serve as another mentor to top young midfield prospect Nathan Worth.

Portillo’s qualities on the ball saw him complete 3,094 passes over the past two seasons, while his passing accuracy rate in the league since the Championship partnered with Opta prior to the 2017 season sits at 87 percent. Add in 36 goals and 36 assists across the regular season and playoffs and this should be a move that pays major dividends for Portillo’s new squad.

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