New England Soccer Today

Revs Acquire Sambinha from Sporting CP via Loan

Photo credit: Sporting Clube de Portugal

Photo credit: Sporting Clube de Portugal

Two days after Revolution president Brian Bilello teased the signing via Twitter, the club announced on Friday that it has acquired Sporting Clube de Portugal center back Sambinha via loan.

Sambinha, 23, has spent the past two-and-a-half seasons playing for Sporting B in Portugal’s second division, and serves as club captain. The 6-1, 155 lbs. center back, whose full name is Mamadu Samba Cande, appeared in 21 games for Sporting B during the 2015-16 season, scoring two goals and helping the side collect five clean sheets.

“Sambinha is a big, strong center back who impressed both myself and Jay (Heaps) during our recent trip to Lisbon,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said in a club release on Friday. “He will be able to help strengthen our defense and we are grateful to be able to work with Sporting in order to add a player of his quality to our roster for the upcoming season.”

Since joining Sporting CP in 2013, Sambinha has played a total of 72 games and scored four goals for Sporting B. Prior to his time in Lisbon, the Guinea-Bissau center back played for Dezembro in the third division of Portuguese soccer, making a total of 40 appearances and scoring a pair of goals.

The addition of Sambina addresses one of the Revolution’s greatest needs: defensive depth. Prior to Sambinha’s acquisition, the club only had five defenders under contract after declining the options of veteran fullbacks Kevin Alston and Jeremy Hall.

Last year, the club was forced to employ midfielder Jermaine Jones in the rear after injuries to Alston and center back Darrius Barnes left the club’s defensive corps especially thin.

The Guinea-Bissau international will inherit one of the club’s seven international roster spots, leaving five remaining slots available to the Revolution. He will join the club for its preseason camp upon receipt of his International Travel Certificate and P1 Visa.

The Revolution has an option to sign him permanently at the end of the loan, but further details of the agreement were not disclosed, per club and MLS policy.

The acquisition of Sambinha marks the first transaction between the Revolution and Sporting CP since they brokered a strategic partnership in 2014. Last month, Burns and Heaps traveled to Lisbon to meet with Sporting’s brass while Revolution midfielders Donnie Smith and Zachary Herivaux, along with forward Sean Okoli, trained with the Leoes for a three-week stint in early-December.

The addition of Sambinha brings the Revolution roster to 20. The Foxboro outfit opens preseason camp on Friday at Gillette Stadium.


  1. pauloblitzz

    January 22, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Its not entirely safe to assume he’ll be able to start but I’d guess that he does. Getting AF back to RB will be nice and it gives us the depth we need as well with London and McCrary able to play RB as well not to mention Barnes. Feels good…

  2. Rick Sewall

    January 22, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Assuming that AF goes to RB his effectiveness would increase tremendously if he gained confidence in his ability to shoot, especially from outside the area.

    • Peter

      January 23, 2016 at 8:00 am

      At last something has come out of the sporting club/lisbond marriage and they are not getting a player ready 4 retirement as stated by Frank lampard the mls would. B a good breeding ground for the young talent ie 21/23 yers old coming through the top teams in the world to come on loan to the MLS this is a good signing by the REVS two Portugese speaking players and Farrell on the line they didn’t really replace SOARS last year and that was the weak link 4 the REVS last year

  3. ABU

    January 23, 2016 at 11:16 am

    This guy does not figure into Sporting’s plans that’s why he’s on the B team. If he was in their plans and a top prospect he would have been loaned out to either another first division team or a team in another European first division. The B team is really meant for U-20 guys who are in the team’s long terms plans and they want these guys to get regular playing time in the second division as opposed to being loaned out to a first division team and not playing regularly. That being said he’s probably still an upgrade over the majority of center backs in the league. Portuguese second division has solid defenders.

  4. Robert

    January 23, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    I would have preferred Uri Rosell from the Sporting connection.

  5. Peter

    January 24, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Uri Rosell came from Barcelona B team to Sporting KC and then he was transferred to Sporting club Portugal may bwe the have a diamond in the rough . 4 our player we picked up from Sporting Lisbond The MLS should have more B team players coming into the leaugue from the larger clubs

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