QUINCY, Mass. – Five weeks after scoring one of the most dramatic goals in Boston Victory’s brief history, forward Lucas Pessanha is packing his bags for Europe.
On Wednesday, the 21-year-old Brazilian signed a deal with Estonian first division side FC Levadia, a club slated to play in the Europa League during the 2012/13 season.
“It’s a great opportunity for him,” Boston head coach Sergio Taborda said after Wednesday’s game. “It’s great exposure. He’s a great player and he deserves it.”
Pessanha arrived in Boston in March after a stint with Floriana FC (Malta), and immediately proved himself in the team’s inaugural game.
In the waning minutes of a 1-1 contest against CFC Azul on May 5, Pessanha scored the game-winner in the 90th minute to lift the Victory to their first win in franchise history.
“It was a great goal, an important goal,” Pessanha said. “It was a great memory for me here in Boston.”
Although it proved to be the only goal he’d score in seven games with the Victory this season, the ambitious attacker did enough to catch the attention of FC Levadia, who swooped in to sign him him earlier this week.
With the opportunity to play in the Europa League, it’s no surprise that Pessanha is excited to open the next chapter of his career.
“It’s going to be a very good experience for me,” Pessanha said. “It’s a very good league that I (hope) I can show well in for other clubs. Since I was a kid, I’ve always dreamed about it. I’m really happy about it.”
In his final appearance for Boston, the baby-faced forward flashed his potential in front of the Victory faithful one final time. Against the same Azul side he stole three points from in the season opener, Pessanha pressured the defense with probing runs. He combined well with Andrew Sousa inside the attacking third. But this time around, he couldn’t will his team to win.
After the game, teammates, coaches and fans all wished him well. He’s excited. Any footballer in his boots would be. But at the same time, Pessanha reflected on what he’ll miss the most about playing in Boston.
“The guys – they were so friendly,” Pessanha said. “I’m really happy here, but I had to (seize) the chance to go overseas.”
While Boston is losing one of its best players, Taborda, who played professionally in Portugal, isn’t bitter. He understands the game. And because of that, he couldn’t help but give his blessing to the journey Pessanha is about to embark on.
“I wish him all the best,” Taborda said. “I will follow his career and we wish him all the success in the world.”