Pancho to call Adelaide home

Adelaide United fans can expect to see a lot more of Uruguayan signing Francisco ‘Pancho’ Usucar in a Reds shirt after he penned a two year extension with the club.

Adelaide United fans can expect to see a lot more of Uruguayan signing Francisco ‘Pancho- Usucar in a Reds shirt after he penned a two year extension with the club.

When the Reds secured the midfield enforcer last month the initial deal was until the end of this season, but following Usucar-s impressive debut in the 4-1 win over Melbourne Victory on January 9, in which he managed to curb the influence of damaging Victory playmaker Carlos Hernandez, the club conveyed their interest in locking him into a lengthier contract.

United Head Coach Rini Coolen is delighted with what Usucar has shown since he arrived, complemented by the value the 24 year old brings as a highly affordable acquisition for a foreign player.

“From the time he has been here we have seen him in a lot of training sessions and also the last game, and his quality as a person and a professional during this time confirmed to us that he is the player that we saw before we signed him,” Coolen said.

“With your foreign players they need to be at a high level, and one of the challenges is to try and have more players at the same level for next season to give us more options, and he fits very well into the constraints of our salary cap so we are extremely pleased to have him for two years.”

Usucar, who had just completed his third season with Uruguayan club Central Espanol, says the chance of a move to Australia immediately appealed to him, and his attraction to the life and football ‘down under- has only grown since he arrived.

“At 24 I was looking for a change and when my agent told me there was a club in Australia looking at me, that sparked my interest and I learnt a bit more about Australia and the A-League and thought it was a good league to challenge me and develop me more as a footballer,” Usucar said.

“I have had a very good impression of the league here so far. It is a really dynamic kind of game in Australia, it is very attacking minded, you don-t get much time on the ball and I-m really enjoying it.”

The former Uruguayan U-20 and U-17 international says he has settled well into Australian life, and although he has only been in Adelaide for just over a month, he admits he already feels that it is where he wants to live and play.

“I love Adelaide as a city. I have been treated really well by the club and my teammates, the fans have been very kind to me and the welcome has been beyond what I was expecting,” Usucar said.

“I hope I can repay them by doing what I think I can do well - help to bring more strength to the midfield and work hard to defend and win the ball back for the team. Not everyone knows me yet but I think my game is well suited to what the coach wants and what the team needs, and I feel I-m improving every week so I look forward to helping the club be successful.”

The Reds will be hoping Usucar-s drive to succeed will contribute to a vital three points on Friday night at Hindmarsh Stadium against North Queensland Fury as the race for second spot intensifies. Tickets for the match are available through Ticketek.

Usucar-s new deal continues a busy week on the signing table for the Reds, following Iain Fyfe-s transfer to Korea, as well as the early arrival of Osama Malik from the Fury, and the signing of Croatian defender Dario Bodrusic.