New England Soccer Today

Potential Benefits Aplenty in Revs-Sporting Deal

Photo credit: Sporting Clube de Portugal

Photo credit: Sporting Clube de Portugal

This is certainly a very interesting move on a few levels, but the two that really stand out are the ability to exchange information with the Sporting academy and getting players on loan. The Sporting academy is one of the best known in the world. Everyone has heard of Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Nani, but what often goes unnoticed is the number of players who graduate from the academy and go on to have solid division 1 careers throughout Europe.

The most important thing that not only the Revs, but American soccer as a whole, can learn from Sporting is that winning at the youth level means nothing. The number one priority at the Sporting academy is developing players, not winning games. It’s something that is holding back youth development in this country, and I hope the Revs will see the benefit of that philosophy through this partnership.

As far as loan players go, Sporting currently has a pair of intriguing players that might attract the attention of the Revolution brass:

Diogo Salomao – A winger who is 26 and currently out on loan at Deportivo La Coruna. He has pace and very good at taking on defenders one on one. He’s never been able to earn a spot at Sporting. He was lost in the shuffle the last few years as Sporting was a revolving door of coaches. He’d be a welcome addition here.

Wilson Eduardo – A center forward currently on loan at Dinamo Zagreb. Lots of speed. Not a big guy but he can handle physical defenders. Another player who was never able to get his spot at Sporting but has done well on loan stints, including a very successful one at Academica in the 2012/13 season.

Some players on the current roster who might be available include:

Ryan Gauld – The 18-year-old Scottish forward has been very impressive in training. So much so that it appears he’s going to make his full international debut for Scotland within the coming months.

Carlos Mane – The 20-year-old forward has gotten playing time this year with the first team and has looked good. This one is probably a bit of a stretch, but with him only being 20, there’s the possibility they loan him out next year to get playing time on a more regular basis.

Miguel Lopes – Here’s an interesting one. A 27-year-old left back who can defend and can also put some very good balls into the box. He’s been relegated to the B team in an attempt to get him to ask for his release. He has one of the highest salaries on the team and they’re trying to dump it. This one probably won’t work due to the finances, but he would make an amazing addition at left back.

Having quality Portuguese players will hopefully help draw in more Portuguese people to the games. Yes, it’s true that Jose Goncalves is Portuguese and a very good player, but sadly many Portuguese aren’t as familiar with him, as he never played professionally in Portugal.

For Sporting, it’s a great chance for them to try and grow their brand in the States. The team has struggled financially for several years and any additional revenue would be a good thing for them. They don’t have the money to go out and buy stars. By having this agreement in place, the hope would be that players come here and play well and that the local fans follow the players back when they go to Sporting. If they do, then they might buy merchandise and watch games on tv which would be a win for Sporting.

All these good things being said, lets hope the Revs did their homework in regards to Bruno de Carvalho, Sporting’s current President. Lets just say he tends to like to do things his way, even if there are signed legal agreements saying he can’t. There is the well-documented sale of Marcos Rojo to Manchester United this past summer. Rojo’s contract was 75% held by a third party. Upon completion of the sale, which was reported at approximately 20 million EUR, Carvalho stated that Sporting would be receiving the full fee as he the previously signed contract was not in the best interests of the club. We can get into a big debate about third parties owning players, but regardless of where you stand, you can’t go around signing contracts, then renege when you no longer like the terms. Let’s hope nothing like that happens during this relationship.

That being said, I’m very excited to see who comes over on loan.

Andrew Carreiro writes about the Portuguese Liga and MLS at

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