Hector “Tito” Villalba became the first Designated Player in Atlanta United history, signing on July 22, 2016. He scored 13 goals and added 11 assists in his first MLS season in 2017, starting all 34 matches. He followed that up with a seven-goal, nine-assist campaign in 2018, giving him an even 20-goals, 20-assists through his first two years in MLS. Villalba joined Atlanta after spending more than a decade with his hometown club San Lorenzo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, beginning in the youth academy at the age of 10. By age 21, Villalba had made more than 100 first team appearances for San Lorenzo, scoring 16 goals with 13 assists.
2018 (Atlanta United): Despite being hampered by injuries early in the year, the Paraguayan international finished the regular season with seven goals and nine assists in 21 starts. His first goal of the year came in the second game of the season, a 3-1 victory vs. DC United. Between July and August, Villalba had a stretch of seven out of eight matches with at least a goal or an assist. He scored a stunning strike in Atlanta United’s 4-3 comeback win at San Jose. Villalba earned MLS Goal of the Week honors twice, while being named to the Team of the Week on three occasions in 2018. MLS Cup Playoffs: Villalba played the role of super-sub to perfection during Atlanta United’s 2018 MLS Cup Playoff run. He played in all five matches, totaling 91 minutes. His stoppage time goal against New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference Final was a vital goal that gave Atlanta a 3-0 advantage. Four of his eight shots were on target in the playoffs. US Open Cup: Played 90 minutes in the Open Cup match against Chicago Fire and had a match-high six shots.
2017 (Atlanta United): Villalba started all 34 matches and tallied 13 goals and 11 assists, one of only four players in MLS to finish with double-digits in both categories. He led the team in both shots (86) and shots on goal (44). Scored two braces: at Toronto on April 8 and at Columbus on July 1. He was named to MLS Team of the Week after his performance in Toronto and won MLS Goal of the Week three times. His game-winning 30-yard strike at Orlando City on July 21 was voted MLS Goal of the Year. MLS Cup Playoffs: Played all 120 minutes against Columbus on Oct 26. Scored in penalty shootout.
2016 (Tijuana): After signing with Atlanta, Villalba was sent on loan to Liga MX Club Tijuana. He appeared in one match as a substitute against CD Cruz Azul (Aug. 7).
2016 (San Lorenzo): Villalba appeared in seven matches across all competitions.
2015 (San Lorenzo): Villalba set a career-high for goals in a season when he netted six over 27 appearances in Primera Division play. He scored on the season opener against Club Atletico Colon (Feb. 14) in a 2-0 win. Villalba scored on consecutive games against Club Atletico Sarmiento (May 24) and Quilmes (May 30).
2014 (San Lorenzo): Villalba scored three goals in 16 matches, eight starts, in Torneo Inicial play.
2013/2014 (San Lorenzo): In 19 games in Torneo Inicial (2013), Villalba scored three goals and recorded four assists. He played in 17 matches for Torneo Final (2014), scoring once with three assists. Villalba was part of San Lorenzo’s Copa Libertadores squad that won the championship against Paraguay’s Club Nacional Asuncion (Aug. 14, 2014). He scored once in 13 games and registered two assists, one of which came in the first leg of the final (Aug. 7, 2014).
2012/2013 (San Lorenzo): Villalba made his debut in the Primera Division with San Lorenzo coming on as a substitute against Estudiantes (Aug. 19). He made the squad in four games for Torneo Inicial, entering as a substitute in each contest. Villalba made seven appearances in Torneo Final, starting in three. He scored his first senior goal against Racing Club (April 13), and scored his second goal in his next match against Arsenal de Sarandi FC (April 21).
International: Villalba completed the switch to play for Paraguay in 2018 and made his debut with La Albirroja as a substitute in a 1-1 draw with South Africa on Nov. 20, 2018.