Columbus Crew SC signs Milton Valenzuela, 19, as designated player

Columbus Crew SC completed the signing of defender Milton Valenzuela as a young designated player on Friday.

Valenzuela, 19, comes to MLS on an initial loan from Argentine club Newell's Old Boys, and the club will have the option to buy him permanently at the end of the season.

The left-back joined Newell's Old Boys' academy at 14 and earned a spot on the first team in July 2016. He started seven league games for the club this season.

Valenzuel has played 10 times for Argentina's under-20 team, including two starts at last year's Under-20 World Cup.

"Milton is a talented, young player who has a high pedigree at both the professional and youth international level," Columbus coach Gregg Berhalter said in a statement.

"His skillset has allowed him to gain critical experience playing in one of the continent's most competitive leagues while featuring prominently for Argentina's Under-20 National Team.

"Milton has the character and determination to succeed in MLS and we are excited to welcome him to Columbus Crew SC, where we expect him to make an immediate impact."

Valenzuela will join Federico Higuain and Pedro Santos as Columbus' three allotted designated players. Jonathan Mensah's DP contract, which paid him $844,000 last season, will be bought down with targeted allocation money.

Valenzuela arrives as a replacement at left-back for Jukka Raitala, who departed in the MLS expansion draft before joining the Montreal Impact.