New England Soccer Today

Koffie, Sambinha Link Up w/ Revs in AZ

Two of the Revolution’s newest additions met up with the club ahead of the Desert Diamond Cup tournament in Tucson, Ariz.

Center back Sambinha, who was loaned to the Revolution by Sporting CP last month, and midfielder Gershon Koffie, who was acquired in a trade with Vancouver last week, both joined the Revolution upon the club’s arrival in the Copper State on Sunday.

“It’s important to get them here, and get them acclimated with our group,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps told on Monday. “It’s a tale of two different scenarios.”

The 22-year-old center back joined the team after receiving his P1 Visa last week. He is expected to provide depth in the middle of the defense, where Andrew Farrell and Jose Goncalves are set to start for the second straight year.

“He’s coming in from a long trip, long flight, unfortunately, in the last couple of weeks in terms of getting the via process going and the work permit,” Heaps said. “It took a little longer than we thought, and unfortunately, I think he’s a little bit behind.”

Koffie, 24, was added to provide experience in the central midfield, an area recent designated player signing Xavier Kouassi was supposed to bolster during the summer before an ACL injury put his availability for the upcoming MLS campaign into question. Incidentally, Koffie played against the Revolution a Feb. 6 preseason match in Tucson.

“Gershon’s been in full preseason mode,” Heaps said, “and he transitioned quickly right into what we were doing.”

With Sambinha and Koffie on board, the Revolution currently have 20 players under contract in camp. The team will kick off its Desert Diamond Cup tournament run on Wednesday against Real Salt Lake.

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