The new year for Major League Soccer is fully under way now as Thursday was a busy day across the league. The New England Revolution signed 27-year-old Portuguese defender José Gonçalves on loan from FC Sion in Switzerland.
The Revs will have a purchase option if he does well. The former Portuguese youth national team member has played throughout Europe with his most notable spell at Hearts in Scotland where he had more than 50 appearances.
“We’ve been open about our desire to add another defender this offseason,” New England general manager Michael Burns said in a statement. “With experience throughout Europe’s top leagues, we believe José will come in and be a positive addition to our club’s defense.”
Rapids Sign Ecuadorian Defender Calderón
The Colorado Rapids confirmed the long-rumored signing of Ecuadorian national team defender Diego Calderón.
Calderón, 26, has played for Liga de Quito since 2003. He has three Ecuadorian first-division titles and a Copa Libertadores championship. He made more than 200 appearances for the club. He also has five national team caps and has made the gameday roster for all nine 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
“Diego is a versatile, talented defender who will come in and compete for a spot in our back line,” Rapids technical director Paul Bravo said in a statement. “He can play in the middle or on the left, and has extensive experience.”
Italian Pisanu Reportedly Set to Join Impact
It appears 30-year-old Italian winger Andrea Pisanu will join the Montreal Impact on a one-year loan from Bologna FC.
The Serie A side announced the move on its website, although the Impact later told MLSSoccer.com that they are still working on the details. Pisanu wrote on Twitter that he cannot wait to be in Montreal.
Pisanu played for Parma FC from 2004 through 2010. He would be the fourth Italian on the Impact’s roster.
Reports Claim Sounders’ Montero Headed to Colombia on Loan
Several reports Thursday claimed MLS has accepted an offer for 25-year-old Seattle Sounders forward Fredy Montero to go on loan to Millonarios in his native Colombia.
Montero has consistently been one of the top players in MLS with 47 goals and 34 assists in four seasons, but he has been unable to get regular looks from his national team. Playing in Copa Libertadores could bring him into the national team picture and raise his profile for a transfer that could bring allocation money to the Sounders and free up a designated player spot.
Crew Sign Wahl; Birchall and Miranda Will Not Return
The Columbus Crew signed 28-year-old defender Tyson Wahl, who was released by the Colorado Rapids after last season. Columbus Dispatch reporter Shawn Mitchell tweeted that the Crew are hoping to add an international left back with Wahl having a chance to win the starting job.
Meanwhile, a couple of Crew players will not be returning next season. Port Vale in England announced midfielder Chris Birchall has signed with them until the end of their season. Left back Sebastián Miranda, who has started 67 of 68 matches in the last two seasons for the Crew, will not return, technical director Brian Bliss said. His contract option was declined, but the Crew made him another offer that has not been accepted. He is expected to sign with his former club, Universidad Católica in Chile.
Bliss said 32-year-old midfielder Milovan Mirosevic will be returning next season despite rumors that he was also heading back to his native Chile. Bliss said Mirosevic’s agent called him to tell him the reports were not true.
Four Names Confirmed for Generation Adidas Deals
Major League Soccer announced four college underclassmen who have signed Generation adidas contracts.
Defenders Walker Zimmerman (Furman) and Andrew Farrell (Louisville), midfielder Mikey Lopez (North Carolina) and forward Jason Johnson (Virginia Commonwealth) will participate in the MLS Player Combine starting next week and will be eligible for the 2013 SuperDraft on Jan. 17. All four are expected to be top picks.
This is only a preliminary list, and the league plans to announce more signings in the near future. Generation adidas players do not count against a team’s salary, and they receive educational grants to further their college education.
RSL, Palmer Reach Agreement on Deal
Real Salt Lake reached an agreement with 28-year-old defender/midfielder Lovel Palmer. The Jamaican was released by the Portland Timbers after last season and was taken by RSL in the Re-Entry Draft.