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Birmingham Brings Avila Aboard For 2019

By Staff, 12/21/18, 1:31PM EST


Former Lights FC midfielder has made almost 175 MLS appearances in career

Veteran midfielder Eric Avila has made 33 appearances over the past two seasons in the USL Championship for Phoenix Rising FC and Las Vegas Lights FC. | Photo courtesy Michael Rincon / Phoenix Rising FC

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Birmingham Legion FC announced on Friday it had added veteran right back Eric Avila to its squad for the club’s inaugural season. The 31-year-old from San Diego, Calif. spent the 2018 USL Championship season with the Las Vegas Lights FC, featuring in 22 games.

“Eric is going to be a great addition to our roster as we strive to build a winning team here in Birmingham,” said Legion FC President and General Manager Jay Heaps. “Legion FC will benefit equally from his skill on the field as we will from his veteran leadership and experience off of it.”

Avila has played the past two seasons in the Championship, having played for Phoenix Rising FC in the 2017 campaign. Avila has made more than 200 professional appearances in his career, the majority of which came in Major League Soccer where he played in 174 games across eight seasons.

A former United States U-17 and U-20 National Team member, Avila was selected with the 19th pick of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft by FC Dallas and made 63 regular-season appearances for the club over four seasons. He then featured for Toronto FC and Chivas USA before competing for Orlando City SC in its inaugural season in MLS in 2015 on loan from Liga MX club Santos Laguna.

Avila joined the Tampa Bay Rowdies for the 2016 season before featuring for Phoenix and Las Vegas over the past two seasons. Avila also had a successful college career, capped off by scoring the game-winning goal for UC-Santa Barbara in the 2006 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Soccer Championship. He appeared in 66 games across three seasons for the Gauchos, tallying 15 goals and 18 assists playing mostly as an attacking midfielder. While in college, Avila also played in the USL League Two for the San Fernando Valley Quakes and Ventura County Fusion.

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