Matej Oravec’s strange journey with the Philadelphia Union is over for now.
FK Železiarne Podbrezová, a Slovakian second division team he made 14 appearances for in 2019 announced a loan deal with the 23-year-old on Tuesday. The team plays in 2. Liga, which, according to Wikipedia, is an amateur division.
Oravec leaves Philadelphia having not logged a single minute for the Philadelphia Union in an official game or for Philadelphia Union 2 in any matches where the lineup was announced. Oravec was “loaned out” to Union 2 earlier this season to free up an international spot on the first team roster. He dressed but did not play in 11 games for the first team in 2020.
The Slovakia youth international was acquired in 2020 from Slovakian club DAC Dunajská Streda for an undisclosed transfer fee that was reportedly $880,000 (today’s announcement cites “one million euros” as the figure).
Initially it was thought that he was being brought in to fill the spot of departing holding midfielder Haris Medunjanin but Jose Martinez took hold of the position in the second game of the regular season and Oravec never did see the field.
Oravec’s loan is through the 2021-2022 season. He signed a three-year deal with the Union with a club option for a fourth year in 2020 so he’ll still be on the Union books through the end of the 2022 season.