New England Soccer Today

Source: Soares Deal with Verona Imminent

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

The A.J. Soares-to-Serie A saga is nearing its conclusion as Hellas Verona are expected to sign him on a free transfer in the coming days, according to a source.

The source – who has direct knowledge of the pending transaction – confirmed with New England Soccer Today that talks are ongoing, and that “it’s a matter of getting him signed, sealed, and delivered.”

Soares’ agent, Mike Gartlan, did not immediately return a message left for him by New England Soccer Today.

Should Soares sign with Verona, he will be the first Revolution player to go directly to Serie A from MLS without being capped by the U.S. National Team. Regardless, it’s clear that Verona could use the 2014 Revolution Defender of the Year.

The Italian outfit is particularly thin in the back at the moment. They currently have the distinction of owning the fourth-worst defense in Serie A, with a recent 4-0 thrashing handed to them by Juventus serving as the latest reminder of that statistic. On paper, Soares’ addition should stem the bleeding, while also giving Verona a central defender who’s both confident and effective in the air on both sides of the ball.

News of the veteran center back’s intention to move to Serie A was originally reported by KickTV‘s Jimmy Conrad shortly after the Revolution’s 2-1 MLS Cup final loss to the LA Galaxy. Gartlan hinted at Soares’ departure, though not his next destination, in a Dec. 14 tweet that pictured Soares at a “wedding/going away party.”

At the time, Soares’ lack of international experience was reason enough for some to write this move off as a rumor. Further doubt was cast after developments surrounding the reported move slowed to a trickle in the weeks after Conrad’s tweet.

Last week, a source told New England Soccer Today that Soares would return to the Revolution in 2015, and that formal contact hadn’t yet been made by Verona. A day later,’s Ives Galarcep tweeted that the deal was still on.

The same source then said that an approach had been made, though no deal was finalized, citing impending negotiations and scheduling conflicts. Soares and Gartlan have both kept quiet since Conrad’s initial report, as has Verona, whose press office declined to comment on the deal on behalf of general manager Sean Sogliano and head of communications Fabrizio Cometti.

The Revolution has said very little, too. When asked about Soares’ absence from the posted roster, a club spokesman advised that the former first-round pick was no longer under contract, and could not confirm whether he would re-sign with the club or a different team.

For a player that has a European passport—and can thus dodge the bureaucratic paperwork often associated with foreign player transactions in European markets — the protracted nature of the negotiations has raised more than a few eyebrows. Verona lost a central defender to another Serie A team during the current transfer window, and injuries have left their back line decimated.

Should Soares return Stateside, the Revolution will hold his MLS rights as he was offered a new contract prior to his departure.

Leave a Reply