CHESTER, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union have picked up the option to extend Fernando Aristeguieta on loan from FC Nantes.
The 23-year-old Venezuelan international forward joined the club on a half-year loan prior to the beginning of the 2015 MLS Regular Season and will now be with Philadelphia until at least the end of the calendar year. He will remain on the club as a Designated Player. Per club and league policy, additional details were not disclosed.
“Fernando is a player we believe in and we’re happy to keep him as a part of our group,” Union technical director Chris Albright said. “We look forward to him getting back on the field and contributing as we push for the playoffs.”
Aristeguieta has played and started in 11 games this season, scoring three goals. He started in each of the club’s first five matches in 2015, as well as seven out of the first eight, but has since been derailed with injuries. In addition to a broken hand that the forward played through, he has recently been battling a left ankle contusion that has sidelined him since a 3-0 win over Columbus Crew SC on June 3.
At Nantes, Aristeguieta made 45 appearances and scored nine goals after joining the club in January 2013. He helped the club secure promotion immediately in 2013 by scoring seven goals in seven appearances during the second half of the season. The following season, playing in Ligue 1, Aristeguieta made 28 appearances and scored two goals.
Prior to joining Nantes, Aristeguieta played for Caracas from 2009-13. There, he made 71 appearances and scored 31 goals for the club, finishing in the top five in scoring in Venezuela’s Primeria Division each of his last two seasons. His final season for Caracas in 2012-13, at just 20 years old, Aristeguieta scored 14 goals, second best in the league. He then made the move to Nantes.
At the international level, Aristeguieta has made 12 appearances and scored one goal for Venezuela. His lone goal came against El Salvador on Aug. 7, 2011 in Washington, D.C. Most recently, Aristeguieta made the preliminary roster for the 2015 Copa America Tournament, but was one of the final cuts. He last featured for Venezuela in 2014 for their World Cup Qualifying campaign, making five appearances for La Vinotinto, including a start against Colombia on March 26, 2013.