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LouCity signs 2023 Championship Defender of the Year Arturo Ordóñez

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 12/08/23, 10:00AM EST


Spanish defender had standout campaign in helping Pittsburgh claim Players’ Shield

Louisville City FC has signed defender Arturo Ordóñez, who this past season claimed the USL Championship's Defender of the Year award with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC. | Photo courtesy Louisville City FC

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville City FC announced on Friday the club had signed defender Arturo Ordóñez to a multi-year contract, bringing aboard the 2023 USL Championship Defender of the Year for the new campaign. The transaction is pending league and federation approval.

Ordóñez joins LouCity after a breakout year for Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, where he anchored a back line that conceded an Eastern Conference-fewest 29 goals in 34 games, which proved key as the Hounds claimed the 2023 USL Championship Players’ Shield, the club’s first silverware in the Championship era.

“We are excited to welcome Arturo to Louisville City,” said LouCity Head Coach Danny Cruz. “We wanted to solidify our back line with someone hungry to succeed and willing to put the work in to achieve the goals that we have here at the club. In Arturo, we found a player that is an incredible professional and takes pride in winning every day.

“He fits the positional profile that we were looking for at center back in his ability to defend one on one, and he provides the calmness that we need on the ball. We believe Arturo is going to be a big addition and are looking forward to integrating him into our group when he arrives.”

In his second year as a professional, Ordóñez recorded 239 recoveries and 106 aerial duels won — both ranking second in the league. He also chipped in five goals en route to claiming Defender of the Year honors and a spot on the Championship’s All-League First Team.

“LouCity is the right place for me because I feel this club has set the standard over the last nine years on and off the field,” Ordóñez said. “There’s a winning culture and a winning history within this organization. The facility and everything that surrounds this club is unbelievable. It gets me really excited to get started in preseason.

“There’s a very high standard, and that’s why I wanted to come here and challenge myself to be at that level.”


Louisville City FC’s first new arrival of the offseason immediately strengthens the club’s back line with Arturo Ordóñez bringing a combination of defensive and on-ball quality that makes him an ideal fit for any club, but particularly the two-time Championship title winners. Ordóñez showed an ability to break lines with his passing and an ability to deliver good passes at distance for Pittsburgh – 26.7 percent of his completed passes in the 2023 season ended in the final third – which will make him a valuable piece of LouCity’s possession-oriented style.

Add to that Ordóñez’s defensive qualities – in the past campaign he won 63.8 percent of overall duels, and 75.7 percent of aerial duels, as well as making 239 recoveries, 120 clearances and 63 interceptions – and his capability of providing finishing at set pieces, which has been a staple for LouCity’s attack over the years, and you have one of the most impactful player moves of the offseason.

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