Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass has described new signing Dante Polvara as a “fantastic emerging talent”.
There was plenty of demand for the 21-year-old American’s signature with the Dons pipping several teams from across Europe and in the MLS to snap up the midfielder.
Polvara has joined the Dons on a two-and-a-half year deal until the summer of 2024, subject to securing a visa.
He is a New York City FC elite academy graduate who has most recently been impressing for Georgetown University.
The 6ft 4in central midfielder was named the 2021 MAC Hermann Trophy on Friday for being the best player in the college system.
Previous winners of the award included former Celtic defender Andrew Gutman (2018) and 25-times capped USA international Darlington Nagbe (2010).
Strong track record
Polvara is the first player from Georgetown University to win the Hermann Trophy. He chipped in with seven goals and six assists in 22 games to help the Hoyas reach the NCAA Division 1 national semi-finals.
🆕 | We are delighted to announce the signing of Elite American College Player, Dante Polvara on a two and a half year deal.
🇺🇸 Welcome to The Dons, Dante!
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) January 8, 2022
He is a two-time All-American and two-time Big East midfielder of the year.
While at New York City Academy, he played in two national championship-winning teams in the US Soccer Development Academy.
He also featured in friendlies against LA Galaxy, LAFC and Real Salt Lake during their 2019 pre-season.
Reds’ boss has high hopes
Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass has a strong knowledge of the US college system from his time working as the Atlanta United 2 manager.
He believes Polvara will be a strong addition to the Dons squad.
He said: “Dante is a fantastic emerging talent.
“He chose to go through the college pathway after emerging from the New York City academy alongside Gio Reyna of Borussia Dortmund and Joe Scally of Borussia Monchengladbach.
“He is coming to us at a good age and whilst he could have opted to take the next step in his career in the MLS we’re delighted he has decided to come to Pittodrie.
“We look forward to working with Dante to continue his development.
“As a club we’ve been clear in our ambition to be the best developer of talent and we’re committed to creating a pathway for promising young players to our first team.
“We look forward to seeing Dante progress over the next couple of years.”
Footage of Polvara in action shows a player with a wide range of passing, composed on the ball and with the ability to score goals from long range and set pieces.
Ramirez persuaded Polvara to pick Pittodrie
The midfielder had no shortage of options but said a chat with Dons striker Christian Ramirez, who joined the Reds from Houston Dynamo in the summer, convinced him to make the move to the Scottish Premiership.
— Georgetown Men’s Soccer (@GUHoyasMSoccer) January 8, 2022
He said: “When I heard about the interest from Aberdeen I talked with Coach (George) Wiese at Georgetown about the opportunity.
“I also spoke at length to Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass and Christian Ramirez who also recently moved from the States to Scotland.
“It was clear the club has a rich footballing history.
“I had a number of other options, both in the MLS and Europe, but I felt that Aberdeen was the right club for me to learn and develop as a player.
“It has a clear strategy of investing in young players and providing a visible pathway to enable them to fulfil their potential.
“I can’t wait to get started and meet my new teammates and the Red Army.”
Rated highly by Beasley
Former Rangers midfielder DaMarcus Beasley, who was capped 126 times by USA, reckons the Dons have made a shrewd acquisition.
Such a good player , best college player I saw this year! Looking forward to following his progress/career. Good luck Dante! https://t.co/TyutW7QDSY
— DaMarcus Beasley (@DaMarcusBeasley) January 8, 2022
He wrote on Twitter: “Such a good player, best college player I saw this year! Looking forward to following his rogress/career. Good luck Dante!”
— Georgetown Men’s Soccer (@GUHoyasMSoccer) October 9, 2021