The New England Revolution have signed 23-year-old defender Sambinha on loan from Sporting Clube de Portugal with an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season.
“Sambinha is a big, strong center back who impressed both myself and Jay during our recent trip to Lisbon,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said.
“He will be able to help strengthen our defense and we are grateful to be able to work with Sporting in order to add a player of his quality to our roster for the upcoming season.”
Sambinha joined Sporting ahead of the 2013/14 season and has spent the past two and a half seasons playing in Portugal’s Segunda Liga. The center back, who has served as Sporting B’s captain, has appeared in 21 of his team’s 25 games this season, starting 19 times while helping the club keep five clean sheets.
He represents the African nation of Guinea-Bissau internationally where he has collected four caps. ,
In October 2014, the Revolution and Sporting entered into a multi-year strategic partnership that is focused on promoting collaboration on training and development methods for the clubs’ first team and academy squads. As part of this partnership, Revolution players Zachary Herivaux, Sean Okoli and Donnie Smith spent time training with Sporting in Lisbon last month.
“This is an important moment that reveals the expansion of Sporting Clube de Portugal toward the United States and consolidates our partnership with the New England Revolution,” Sporting CP President Bruno de Carvalho said.
“We are pleased that Sambinha will represent Sporting CP in MLS and we encourage the Portuguese community to go out and support him and the Revolution. We look forward to their success.”
The Revolution will open preseason training ahead of the 2016 MLS season in Foxborough on Friday, Jan. 22. The team will travel to Casa Grande, Arizona for 10 days of training on Tuesday, Jan. 26 and then train for a week in Foxborough from Feb. 8-13 before heading to Tucson, Arizona on Feb. 14 for the Desert Diamond Cup.