Dante Polvara: Aberdeen beat MLS and European sides to sign 'fantastic emerging' US midfielder

Aberdeen have completed their first signing of the January transfer window with the addition of US midfielder Dante Polvara on a two-and-a-half year deal.

Georgetown's Dante Polvara, left, works past Washington's Gio Miglietti during the second half of an NCAA men's soccer tournament semi-final in Cary, N.C
NCAA Georgetown Washington Soccer, Cary, United States - 10 Dec 2021. Photo by Ben McKeown/AP/Shutterstock (12640370j)
Georgetown's Dante Polvara, left, works past Washington's Gio Miglietti during the second half of an NCAA men's soccer tournament semi-final in Cary, N.C NCAA Georgetown Washington Soccer, Cary, United States - 10 Dec 2021. Photo by Ben McKeown/AP/Shutterstock (12640370j)

The Dons have won the race for the 21-year-old’s signature, subject to securing a visa, ahead of a number of competing teams in the MLS and across Europe in what is viewed as a coup for the Pittodrie club.

Polvara has been playing college football with the Georgetown Hoyas, where he is a finance major, and on Friday was honoured as the best college player in the country, winning the prestigious MAC Hermann Trophy.

Standing at 6ft 4ins, he scored seven goals and made six assists last season, operating as a box-to-box midfielder. During his time with the Hoyas he has 19 goals in 60 games and been coached by Brian Wiese, who was assistant to Aberdeen legend Bobby Clark at Stanford University and then University of Notre Dame.

Dons manager Stephen Glass hailed the capture of a “fantastic emerging talent”, pointing out that the player chose to go through the college pathway after emerging from the New York City academy alongside Gio Reyna of Borussia Dortmund and Joe Scally of Borussia Monchengladbach.

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“He is coming to us at a good age and whilst he could have opted to take the next step in his career in the MLS, we’re delighted he has decided to come to Pittodrie and we look forward to working with Dante to continue his development,” Glass said.

“As a club we’ve been clear in our ambition to be the best developer of talent and we’re committed to creating a pathway for promising young players to our first team. We look forward to seeing Dante progress over the next couple of years”.

Polvara revealed that chats with Glass and fellow countryman Christian Ramirez helped convince him to move to Pittodrie.

“I had a number of other options, both in the MLS and Europe, but I felt that Aberdeen was the right club for me to learn and develop as a player. It has a clear strategy of investing in young players and providing a visible pathway to enable them to fulfil their potential,” he said.

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“I can’t wait to get started and meet my new teammates and the Red Army.”

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