New England Soccer Today

Four More Sporting CP Options for Revs

Miguel-Lopes1The Revolution brain trust will be in Lisbon later this week to meet with Sporting CP officials about potential player acquisitions – namely, Héldon. But the Cape Verdean International isn’t the only player the Revolution are reportedly interested in.

So which other Sporting products could Michael Burns & Co. be looking at? Here are four potential targets.

1. Miguel Lopes, Left Back, 28, Portugal: Lopes is a solid defender at left back. He’s not a flashy attacker, but when needed he can go up and consistently send crosses into the box. Let’s sum it up like this: He would be the best left back in MLS. Period. It might work as Lopes is one of the highest paid players on Sporting’s roster. He’s making around 800,000 EUR a year, and Sporting might be willing to take on half his salary with another club picking up the rest. That being said, his price tag even with that type of an agreement might be too high for a left back, which is also an area of relative stability for the Revolution.

2. Diego Rubio, Forward, 21, Chile: Rubio came up through the Colo-Colo system and was highly regarded in Chile before moving to Sporting three years ago. He hasn’t made an impact with the first team, spending last year on loan in Norway, where he scored eight goals. He has spent the current season on the B team, which plays in the Portuguese second division. I haven’t seen him play recently, but he’s a player that Sporting fans really like and many have been frustrated that he hasn’t gotten much of a chance. He is a very technically sound player who would be best suited to play with a second forward up top. However, he isn’t the biggest guy on the field, and could have a hard time with physical MLS defenders.

3. Salim Cisse, Forward, 22, Guinea: After an impressive campaign with Academica two years ago, Cisse was bought by Sporting. He has a lot of speed, and while he is not as technically gifted as Rubio, he would probably handle the physicality of MLS better. Given how much abuse forwards are asked to take in Jay Heaps’ 4-1-4-1 system, he may be better suited for the role.

4. Oriol “Uri” Rosell, Midfielder, 22, Spain: Rosell is a sure thing in that he has proven that he can play at a high level in MLS. Going into the season many saw him as a sure starter, but he quickly lost his place. He was even featured on the cover of the yearly Abola league yearbook – that’s how highly people felt about him. He’s clearly not in their plans for this year, and it’s anyone guess if that’s going to change next year. Because Sporting Kansas City received allocation money from his 2014 transfer, they no longer hold his MLS rights.

There are a slew of lesser-known options on Sporting’s B team between the ages of 19-22 who the Revolution may be eyeing as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Revolution end up with a couple of those guys instead. The fact that these players on the B team doesn’t mean they’re bad players; they’re just not ready to be an every day player on the Senior Squad at Sporting.

However, by having these guys on the B team, Sporting can readily call these players up if they are performing well or the team has the injury bug, which was recently done with Ryan Gauld. In that way, it functions a lot like the set up seen in the NHL (e.g. the affiliation agreement between the Boston Bruins and Providence Bruins).

There is one difference, though: the Senior team also calls up B team players to train with the Senior Squad, and the coaching staff can easily observe the B team at all times.

Andrew Carreiro covers the Portuguese Liga for

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