FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution have signed defenders Jalil Anibaba and Nicolas Samayoa. Both players have been with New England since the beginning of the 2018 preseason as unsigned trialists and are now officially on the active roster.
During the 2018 preseason trip to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., Anibaba and Samayoa each saw minutes in New England's exhibition matches. Anibaba logged 176 minutes played, including a 90-minute shift against Malmö FF, while Samayoa saw 165 minutes of action in central defense.
Anibaba, 29, has been a regular starter in MLS since entering the league with the Chicago Fire as the ninth overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. Now entering his eighth MLS season, he has previously played for four different clubs and owns 166 league appearances, 153 starts, five goals, and 11 assists in over 14,000 career minutes. Anibaba spent the last two years with the Houston Dynamo and was a key part of their run to the Western Conference Finals in 2017, making four appearances in the latest edition of the MLS Cup Playoffs. His postseason totals include six career games and four starts with one assist.
A native of California, the right-footed central defender spent his first three seasons with Chicago from 2011-13. He set a career high with 34 starts in 2013 and played every minute during the regular season. Anibaba joined the Seattle Sounders for the 2014 campaign and appeared in 16 games, starting 14, before playing in another 16 games with 14 starts for Sporting Kansas City in 2015. With Houston from 2016-17, he totaled 38 games played and 32 starts.
As a collegiate player, Anibaba attended Santa Clara University for three seasons and served as captain in 2009. He then transferred to the University of North Carolina for his senior season and helped the Tar Heels to their third straight NCAA College Cup appearances in 2010, earning NSCAA Second Team All-American honors in the process. He also represented the United States on the youth international stage in 2007, playing for both the Under-18s and Under-20s.
Samayoa, 22, was a four-year starter at Florida Gulf Coast University and appeared in 66 matches, starting 65, and tallied six goals with four assists. As a senior last season, Samayoa started 15 matches and recorded a career-high three goals, after setting a personal best with 20 appearances in 2016. The 6-foot-2, 175 pound defender was a 2017 United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region First Team selection as a senior. He was named a first-team Atlantic Sun Conference selection as a junior after the FGCU backline surrendered only six goals in conference action, second fewest in the league. Samayoa holds dual citizenship with Guatemala and the United States and has represented Guatemala at the Under-20 level.
TRANSACTION: New England Revolution sign defender Jalil Anibaba and defender Nicolas Samayoa on Feb. 9, 2018.
#3 Jalil Anibaba
Pronunciation: jah-LEEL AH-nee-BAH-bah
Date of Birth: Oct. 19, 1988 (Fontana, Calif.)
Hometown: Davis, Calif.
Nationality: United States
Last Club: Houston Dynamo
#12 Nicolas Samayoa
Pronunciation: NEE-coh-LASS SAH-mah-YO-ah
Weight: 175 lbs.
Date of Birth: August 2, 1995 (Guatemala City, Guatemala)
Hometown: Guatemala City, Guatemala
College: Florida Gulf Coast University
Nationality: Guatemala/United States