BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, February 15, 2013
Despite living almost his entire life in the United States, Fabrizio Pittaluga is returning to his native Peru to begin his career with Pacifico FC of the Primera Division.

Pittaluga, 22, was born in Lima but moved to Miami before his first birthday. He became an American citizen in 2006 and developed his game in South Florida playing for the clubs Miami FC Kendall and Red Force Miami.

The journey towards becoming a professional, however, has been a long road. In recent years he trained at several clubs, including in Italy with Cagliari's Primavera team. Last month, he trained with the Chicago Fire on trial but did not earn a contract.

This month, though, he finally secured a professional contract when he signed a one-year deal with Pacifico FC, a club that has was recently promoted to Peru's top flight.

"Becoming a professional is something I've always dreamed of and never stopped working towards," Pittaluga told YA. "I did have some trials in Italy when I was younger and most recently with Chicago Fire which for one reason or another did not work out. This year the opportunity came up to join Pacifico for pre-season, and towards the end of pre-season I was offered a contract."

Expectations are high this season at Pacifico after winning the Segunda Division last season with only two losses on the year. In 2011, the small Lima-based club surprised many with a strong run in the Copa Peru, where it advanced to the finals before losing to Real Garcilaso.

This year, Pacifico's primary objective will be to remain in the Primera Division, but Pittaluga believes that the team can aim higher. In the opening game of the season, Pacifico defeated a strong Juan Aurich team 1-0 at home.

Now that he has signed his contract, Pittaluga is looking forward to getting on the field and helping the team's attack either as a forward or as an attacking midfielder.

"We've had a great start to the season defeating Juan Aurich in our opening game this past week," Pittaluga explained. "I believe this is going to be a good season both for the team and myself; I'm really looking forward to it. I'm happy to be here, and I expect my playing time to increase as the season goes on. I expect to continue alternating between forward and attacking mid, as I have been doing so far in pre-season. I love to score goals and create opportunities for teammates."

Pittaluga, who supports both Peru and the United States internationally while also holding an Italian passport, will now finally begin his professional career for an upstart Pacifico team that is looking to build on recent success. The first test could be this Saturday when Pacifico take on perennial Peruvian powers Alianza Lima.