• Ryan Chapman

Another defender signs with OKC

There can be no confusion about priority No. 1 for the Oklahoma City Energy, as they added their third new defender of the offseason.

Left back Roberto Coronado will join the Energy after spending the past two seasons with Rio Grande Valley FC.

“Robert has an interesting mix of qualities that I like which come from his background in the game,” head coach John Pascarella said. “He started as a central midfielder and is a connector type of player with a good range of pass, but now he’s adapted as a pro to play left back. Those defensive qualities, as well as being able to join the attack, will be big for us."

Last season with Rio Grande Valley, Coronado compiled a sterling defensive record. Winning 100% of his tackles and completing 80 percent of his passes, Coronado was dynamic in both defense and attack.

Already returning a right back who is no stranger going forward in Zach Ellis-Hayden, the Energy will look to stretch opposing defenses down both flanks.

“Robert also gives us more balance. Him being naturally left footed gives us the opportunity to attack from both sides with both fullbacks, so we can do interesting things with our interior attackers," Pascarella said.

Before joining Rio Grande Valley, the 5-foot-10 native of La Habra, CA played four years of collegiate soccer at Cal State Fullerton.

Coronado is the 16th OKC player under contract heading into the 2021 season.

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