New England Soccer Today

Sporting CP Update

Fredy-1

Sporting Clube de Portugal were able to maintain their lead for first place in the Portuguese Liga for another week following their 3-2 win over Academica. But as the scoreline suggests, the victory didn’t come easy, as Sporting needed a late goal from Fredy Montero in the 84th minute to secure their latest trio of points after doing down early in the first half.

With Academica silencing Islam Slimani this week, Sporting needed goals from Bryan Ruiz, captain Adrian, and Montero to emerge on top. With this victory, Sporting were able to maintain their two point lead over Benfica, who just keep winning and are white hot at the moment with seven straight league wins, and undefeated in their last 13 (12-0-1).

Early League Cup Exit: Despite winning their last match in their group, SCP were eliminated from the Portuguese League Cup, With second division side Portimonense topping the group. In their last match Sporting beat Arouca 1-0, with new signing Zeegelaar scoring the lone goal. Despite this elimination, the League Cup was never a high priority for Sporting.

The “B” Side: In their most recent match, Sporting B lost to Covilha 3-1. Ousmane Drame scored Sporting’s lone goal. Of the five “B” sides in the second division, Sporting are third among them, currently sitting 11th in the standings with a 11-10-6 mark. Some of the stars this season on the B side 18-year-old goalkeeper Pedro Silva with 27 games this season, 20-year-old  midfielder Francisco Geraldes, who leads the club with 5 goals in 22 games, and 20-year-old defender Domingos Duarte, logging 26 out of 27 games this season.

Transfer Deadline: With a flurry of activity during the last few days of the winter transfer window, Sporting were doing some wheeling and dealing of their own. New arrivals include defender Sebastian Coates on loan from Sunderland, striker Hernan “the pirate” Barcos who was traded by his Chinese club plus 5 million euros in exchange for Fredy Montero. Other players soon to arrive include Marvin Zeegelaar, Ruben Semedo (who was on loan at Setubal), and former Benfica attacking midfielder Bruno Cesar.

Players who waved Lisbon goodbye included the aforementioned Montero, rumored Revolution target Oriol Rosell (on loan to Guimaraes), and Labyad (on loan to Fulham)

Despite the transfer buzz surrounding Slimani and Carlos Mane, Sporting held on to both stars during the window. Rumor was that Hamburg had representatives in Lisbon to close the deal for Mane, while Everton trying to swoop in and steal Slimani from Manchester United with a late bid, but all offers were ultimately rejected.

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