New England Soccer Today

Revs Say Goodbye to Sporting Loanee Samba

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

In a season plagued by defensive woes, the Revolution waived reserve center back Samba on Monday.

Samba, who joined the team on loan from Portuguese club Sporting Portugal during the preseason, only saw action two league matches during his time in New England. He earned one start vs. Dallas on May 21, a game in which the Revolution dropped a 4-2 home loss.

The 23-year-old was loaned to the Revolution in January 2016 following a season with Sporting’s B team. He served as the squad’s captain prior to his move to MLS.

Not long after joining the squad, Revolution assistant coach Tom Soehn told in April that Samba was working his way through the adjustment to MLS.

“I think when you compare the style of play in Portugal, there’s not a lot of pressure on the backs as there is here in our league. There’s a lot of high pressure (in MLS),” Soehn said at the time. “That’s something that he even said to us as we talked to him and tried to work with him. It’s so different from what they’re used to in having to open up quick so when they get the ball they buy themselves more time.”

The club’s original hope was to have the young center back establish a rapport with the likes of fellow Portuguese defender Jose Goncalves and converted center back Andrew Farrell. But Samba struggled in league play, and often looked overmatched when opponents employed the high press.

Samba’s final appearance with the Revolution came in last month’s U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal win over Philadelphia, a game in which he went 120 minutes before the game was decided on penalties.

With Samba’s release, the Revolution currently have 25 players on their roster.


  1. Robert

    August 29, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Not exactly a fruitful working relationship with Sporting CP. Seems as if the connection has fallen by the wayside.

    And this is a little off-topic, but I was thinking about why the Revs signed Cody Cropper when the club was in dire need of defensive help. Did they really sign him because they have been tracking him for some time and like the young GK? Or is it just to make him available for the expansion draft because the team must make a certain number of players available? Cropper did state that he only wanted to play for MUFC or Atlanta FC if he played in MLS.

    • Paulo S. (@flakita_63)

      August 30, 2016 at 5:21 am

      I highly doubt that’s the case because teams dont really have to make anyone available. What they do have is the ability to protect a certain number of players, which is different. Adding a player to intentionally leave unprotected makes little sense to me. More likely they actually believe he’s a solid prospect and knowing he has roots in not 1 but both expansion sides makes it an easy choice. They can keep him if need be or flip him into a deal involving MNU and ATL. both of which will have loads of pieces and options to work with thanks to league rules.

      • Brian O'Connell

        August 30, 2016 at 9:17 am

        Paulo & Robert – I don’t think adding Cropper to make him available in the expansion draft was their motivation to acquire him. They’ve lacked stability at GK all season, so to bring in a new face to, at the very least, sharpen the competition can only help the club going forward. That said, I wouldn’t put it past the FO to orchestrate one move to set the stage for another. Two words: Matt Pickens.

  2. Paulo S. (@flakita_63)

    August 30, 2016 at 5:14 am

    I don’t think Samba was truly happy here and that undoubtedly effected his game. Sometimes things work out and sometimes there just isnt a match to be made. I would have liked to see him get more playing time and that way he could adjust. You can’t do that without playing time. If the Rev’s (like most others MLS clubs) had a B squad/team, that would have helped a lot.


    August 31, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    A strange release to say the least. Does everyone out there in Revolutionland believe that all of our starters could start for SportingB in the Second Division in Portugal where Samba was the Captain? There is an obvious disconnect between our coaching staff and soccer talent. Was Samba really worse than Farrell as a center back? Sporting on a regular basis is developing and selling players who play at a higher level than the REVS. The team needs an overhaul top to bottom or it needs to be sold and perhaps if new ownership moves the franchise we will all wake up and realize how Ownership has squandered the opportunity to build the leading franchise in the MLS in an area with a huge soccer population.
    Long live the beautiful game!

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