Panama's Chen joins Zulte Waregem on loan

Panama's Roberto Chen (#23), shown in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup final against the United States, was loaned to Belgian side Zulte Waregem on January 17, 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)

WAREGEM, Belgium -- Panama international Roberto Chen will spend the rest of the season with Belgium’s Zulte Waregem after being loaned from Malaga, it was announced Friday.

The 19-year-old defender, who joined the Spanish side in August from San Francisco FC, made two La Liga appearances.

 Malaga views the move as an opportunity to give Chen more first-team football and put him in better position to have a larger role in the squad next term.

“Malaga CF wishes Roberto Chen every success with his new team the rest of the season,” the club said in a statement via its website.

Zulte Waregem, which does not have a buy option on the player, currently sits fourth in the Jupiler Pro League table.

Chen played in three matches during Panama’s 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign and appeared in all six of its outings at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.