After exercising a club option on Zac Portillos’ contract in November to bring him back for the 2016 North American Soccer League season, the Tampa Bay Rowdies have successfully renegotiated a longer contract for the young defender.
Portillos has agreed to a new one-year contract with a club option for 2017. Further contract details were not disclosed.
In his rookie year as a professional, Portillos, 23, won a starting position at left back for the Rowdies’ first two games of the season, a 3-1 win over the San Antonio Scorpions and a scoreless draw against Minnesota United FC, a match in which Portillos’ primary defensive responsibility was marking United States Men’s National Team winger Miguel Ibarra.
Portillos signed with the Tampa Bay Rowdies after excelling in the clubs’ invitation-only tryout in January of 2015. Tampa Bay Rowdies assistant coach Stuart Dobson was a coach at Akron University while Portillos played his collegiate career there.
“We’re delighted that Zac has signed a new contract here with the Tampa Bay Rowdies,” head coach Stuart Campbell said. “We believe he has a great future in the game and we’re happy he will continue to grow with us. He suffered a bad injury last season, but recovered well. Watching him practice at the end of last season, you wouldn’t believe he had gotten hurt. His touch and precision were back very quickly.”
According to a statement from the team, Portillos’ speed and technical ability makes him a major asset as the Rowdies prepare for a successful 2016 season.