Credit from the Union of Philadelphia Credit from the Union of Matej Oravec for FK eleziarne Podbrezová in Slovakia

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The union has loaned Matej Oravec to Slovakian second division club FK Zeleziarne Podbrezová until next summer, the latest sign that the once promising 23-year-old Slovakian native has failed to gain popularity here.

Oravec was signed with the Slovak first-level club Dunajska Streda in early 2020 for a transfer fee that was never officially announced but was understood as mid-high six-digit… He was expected to be the team’s starting defensive midfielder, but lost to Jose Andres Martinez. Warren Crevalle ranked it second on the depth chart, and Jack Elliot even played a role last year instead of Oravets.

At the time, the Union was limited in its ability to get Oravek’s playing time with its reserve team in the USL Championship due to the coronavirus pandemic protocols that limited how MLS clubs can move players to USL commands and vice versa. The goal was to limit the number of other people the player would encounter while doing their job, which made a lot of sense from a health standpoint, but hindered the development of the players.

Leon Flach was a reserve midfielder this year and he did it very well. So the Union was stuck with a player who had no intention of playing MLS and couldn’t play anywhere else in the past year. Oravets did not play for the Union for a second; he was on the bench 11 times last year but not yet this year. He played one game in Slovakia national team U21 in September his only concert since signing here.

He knows the club Oravets is going to. In the first half of 2019, he played for Podbrezova, and in the second half he moved to Danube Streda.

The fact that the loan is for the entire European 2021-202 season may be somewhat perplexing, as Oravek’s contract with the Union is for calendar year 2022, with club choices available for 2023. Therefore, when he returns, he will only be here for about six months before the team will have to decide whether to let him go for good.

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