By JUSTIN FERGUSON
The New England Revolution continued their busy offseason Thursday by finalizing a loan deal with Switzerland’s FC Sion for central defender Jose Goncalves.
Goncalves, a 29-year-old from Portugal, has spent the last nine years all over Europe, including stops at Bundesliga side FC Nurenberg and Scotland’s Hearts of Midlothian.
After signing three midfielders earlier in the winter, New England now has an experienced central defender that its front office has been searching for. Goncalves joins midfielders Scott Caldwell, Kalifa Cisse and Andy Dorman as the newest members of the Revolution.
The loan deal from FC Sion includes a purchase option for the future.
Here are some more stories involving MLS players old and new:
BIRCHALL RETURNING TO PORT VALE
Former Los Angeles Galaxy and Columbus Crew midfielder Chris Birchall is on his way back to his first club, League Two’s Port Vale FC.
Birchall, who was rumored to head back to Port Vale before the start of the 2012 MLS campaign, signed with the English club Thursday. Columbus declined the option on Birchall last month, making Birchall a free transfer target.
The Trinidadian international reportedly was unhappy with his lack of playing time with the Crew in 2012 and will look to get his career back on track at his old club.
IBRAHIM MAKES ETHIOPIA’S AFCON ROSTER
Minnesota Stars forward Fuad Ibrahim, the former Generation Adidas player for FC Dallas and Toronto FC, has been named to his home country’s roster for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
After being waived from Toronto at the end of the 2010 season, Ibrahim returned to professional soccer in 2012 with the NASL’s Stars. The Ethiopia-born, Minnesota-raised Ibrahim made five appearances for the club this past season.
Ibrahim was called up to Ethiopia’s preliminary roster last month and is one of only three foreign-based players to make the final cut for the AFCON team.
What do you think of New England’s loan signing of Goncalves? Do you think he will give the Revs what they need in central defense for 2013? Think Ibrahim’s play in the AFCON could lead to a few MLS teams consider signing him from Minnesota?
Share your thoughts below.