With First Kick less than two weeks away, the New England Revolution made a pair of roster moves on Wednesday by signing defender Jossimar Sanchez and acquiring the rights to midfielder Daigo Kobayashi from Vancouver for a 2016 fourth-round draft pick.
Sanchez, who was selected fourth overall by the Revolution in the 2013 supplemental draft, appeared in five of the Revolution’s first six preseason games this winter. He trained with the club late last season after recovering from a leg fracture he suffered during his senior year at the University of Connecticut in 2012.
“Jossimar is a young player who will provide depth for us,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said in a team release on Wednesday. “He worked hard to return to full fitness after his injury in college, so we’re pleased he’s earned a spot on our roster this year.”
Sanchez, an outside back by trade, has recently worn number 48 during camp, but will presumably don a new number (i.e. lower number) once the regular season starts.
Meanwhile, Kobayashi originally came to the Revolution as a non-roster invitee last week after the Vancouver Whitecaps declined his option following the 2013 season. He entered the club’s first Desert Diamond Cup clash against Real Salt Lake last Wednesday identified as “Player X” in the match report.
But there was nothing indistinguishable about his play in a pair of preseason contests last week. His prowess on set pieces, along with his ability to mesh with the Revolution midfielders, made a lasting impression – so much so that the front office was willing to use a valuable international spot to acquire Japanese playmaker.
“Daigo is a technically-gifted player who fits into our system well,” Burns said in a team release on Wednesday. “He assimilated well with our club when he was in Tucson with us, and we are looking forward to his return to the club soon.”
After Kobayashi was acquired, the Revolution signed him to a new contract. He will be officially added to the roster upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and U.S. P-1 Visa.
Kobayashi, who will wear number 16 for New England this year, scored two goals and added four assists in 30 games for the Whitecaps in 2013.
Prior to his arrival in MLS, he spent 12 seasons between Japan’s J-League (Tokyo Verde 2005, Omiya Ardija 2006-08, Shimizu S-Pulse 2011-12), Norway’s Tippeligaen (Stabaek IF 2009) and Greece’s Super League (Iraklis Thessaloniki 2009-11).
The additions of Sanchez and Kobayashi puts the Revolution roster at 27 players.