Brian Bilello and Michael Burns with Sporting CP executives
Courtesy Sporting Clube de Portugal

New England Revolution enter first international club partnership with Portuguese power Sporting

You can add the New England Revolution to the list of MLS clubs with a European partnership.

The New England Revolution and Portuguese power Sporting Clube de Portugal, also known as Sporting CP, announced Wednesday that they have entered a multiple-year strategic partnership which will result in shared expertise, benefit and promotion for each club. The deal's main focus is to promote collaboration on training and development methods for both the clubs’ first teams and youth squads, and it will allow New England to add Sporting players on loan.

Revolution president Brian Bilello and general manager Michael Burns were in Lisbon on Wednesday for the formal announcement and said they are delighted with the agreement that marks the MLS side's first international club partnership.

“We’re very excited to partner with a club with such history and prestige as Sporting Clube de Portugal,” Bilello said in a statement released by New England. “The opportunity to not only partner on activities to improve our first team, but also to work with their prestigious academy on youth development, will benefit our club for many years. We will also assist Sporting in their efforts to explore opportunities to increase Sporting’s reach within the United States, both on and off the field.”

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, the two teams will share scouting resources as part of the agreement. It also allows for the clubs’ academy teams, youth players and coaches to spend training time with the other organization’s teams. The partnership also provides for potential friendly matches at both the first-team and youth-team levels.

“Sporting has been one of the most consistent and successful programs in Europe, and we’re looking forward to working with their staff to share best practices, player talent and scouting resources,” Burns said in the same statement. “Both clubs have been recognized for our youth development programs, and we’re anticipating a tremendous shared benefit by this partnership.”

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