FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution announced today that the club has acquired defender Sambinha on loan for the 2016 MLS season from Sporting Clube de Portugal. The first player to be loaned to the Revolution since the club entered into a strategic partnership with Sporting in October 2014, Sambinha will officially be added to the Revolution roster and join the club for preseason training upon receipt of his P1 Visa and his International Transfer Certificate (ITC). New England has an option to sign Sambinha permanently at the end of the loan, but further details of the agreement will not be disclosed per club and MLS policy.
“Sambinha is a big, strong center back who impressed both myself and Jay during our recent trip to Lisbon,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said. “He will be able to help strengthen our defense and we are grateful to be able to work with Sporting in order to add a player of his quality to our roster for the upcoming season.”
Sambinha, whose full name is Mamadu Samba Cande, joined Sporting ahead of the 2013/14 season and has spent the past two and a half seasons playing in Portugal’s Segunda Liga. In that time, Sambinha has scored four goals in 72 appearances. The 23-year-old center back, who has served as Sporting B’s captain, has appeared in 21 of his team’s 25 games this season, starting 19 times and scoring twice while helping the club keep five clean sheets.
Prior to joining Sporting, the 6-foot-1 defender spent two seasons with Dezembro in the third division of Portuguese soccer, making a total of 40 appearances and scoring a pair of goals.
Originally born in Cascais, Portugal, Sambinha represents the African nation of Guinea-Bissau internationally, collecting four caps. He made his full international debut on June 13, 2015 in an Africa Cup of Nations 2017 qualifier against Zambia and last played for his country in a World Cup Qualifier against Liberia in October 2015.
In October 2014, the Revolution and Sporting entered into a multi-year strategic partnership that is focused on promoting collaboration on training and development methods for the clubs’ first team and academy squads. The agreement also allows for shared scouting resources and the opportunity for players and coaches to spend time training with the other club. As part of this partnership, Revolution players Zachary Herivaux, Sean Okoli and Donnie Smith spent time training with Sporting in Lisbon last month.
“This is an important moment that reveals the expansion of Sporting Clube de Portugal toward the United States and consolidates our partnership with the New England Revolution,” Sporting CP President Bruno de Carvalho said. “We are pleased that Sambinha will represent Sporting CP in MLS and we encourage the Portuguese community to go out and support him and the Revolution. We look forward to their success.”
The Revolution will open preseason training ahead of the 2016 MLS season in Foxborough on Friday, Jan. 22. The team will travel to Casa Grande, Arizona for 10 days of training on Tuesday, Jan. 26 and then train for a week in Foxborough from Feb. 8-13 before heading to Tucson, Arizona on Feb. 14 for the Desert Diamond Cup.
TRANSACTION: New England Revolutions acquire defender Sambinha on loan for the 2016 MLS season from Sporting Clube de Portugal.
Name: Mamadu Samba Cande (Sambinha)
Hometown: Cascais, Portugal
Date of Birth: September 23, 1992 (Cascais, Portugal)
Last Club: Sporting Clube de Portugal (POR)