New England have been busy stocking the midfield cupboard this offseason, signing Andy Dorman, Kalifa Cissé and Homegrown Scott Caldwell. On Thursday morning, the Revs turned their attention to the backline, announcing the signing of Portuguese center back José Gonçalves on loan from Swiss side FC Sion.
Gonçalves will officially be added to New England’s roster upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa and will occupy an international roster spot. Terms of the deal were not disclosed per team and league policy, but the deal includes a purchase option should the 27-year-old impress enough to merit a permanent move.
“We’re pleased to add Jose to our squad,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said in a statement. “We’ve been open about our desire to add another defender this offseason. With experience throughout Europe’s top leagues, we believe José will come in and be a positive addition to our club’s defense.”
The central defender arrives in New England with nine years of European experience, including stops with FC Basel, FC Winterhur, FC Thun, FC St. Gallen and FC Sion in Switzerland as well as stints with Italian Serie B side Venezia, Lithuania’s FBK Kaunas, FC Nuremberg and Scotland’s Heart of Midlothian. He made 10 UEFA Champions League appearances with FC Thun and played against Celtic in the Europa League while with FC Sion.
Gonçalves was also capped seven times with the Portuguese Under-21 team, including a call-up for the 2007 UEFA Under-21 Championship. He is expected to compete for a starting spot in the center of Jay Heaps' backline along with incumbants A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy and Darrius Barnes.
"What a great start to the New Year,” Gonçalves said in a statement. “I’m happy to play for the Revolution and start a new career chapter in Major League Soccer. The entire organization, along with my new teammates, was very welcoming when I came in November to see the facilities and meet with everyone. It was great to see how the club was run and only further supported my decision to come to New England. I’m ready to join my teammates and to start the hard work to make it a successful 2013 season. I also look forward connecting and to become a productive member of the New England community."