The New England Revolution announced Thursday morning that they had completed the loan signing of FC Sion defender Jose Goncalves. Goncalves, 27, joins the Revs on the strength of eight years of European soccer experience, including several UEFA Champions' League campaigns.
The New England Revolution have announced their first defensive signing of the 2012-2013 offseason, bringing in Portuguese defender Jose Goncalves on loan from Swiss top division side FC Sion. Goncalves, 27, will be expected to add veteran presence and quality depth to a back line that showed considerable inexperience with constant errors in concentration and focus during the 2012 season.
"We're pleased to add Jose to our squad," Revolution General Manager Michael Burns said. "We've been open about our desire to add another defender this off-season. With experience throughout Europe's top leagues, we believe Jose will come in and be a positive addition to our club's defense."
Goncalves joins midfielders Andy Dorman, Kalifa Cisse, and Scott Caldwell as the Revs' four offseason signings to date. Burns and head coach Jay Heaps will be hoping that these players can augment the core they chose to keep from 2012's disappointing campaign and push the Revs back into the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
"What a great start to the New Year," Goncalves said. "I'm happy to play for the Revolution and start a new career chapter in Major League Soccer. The entire organization, along with my new teammates, was very welcoming when I came in November to see the facilities and meet with everyone. It was great to see how the club was run and only further supported my decision to come to New England. I'm ready to join my teammates and to start the hard work to make it a successful 2013 season. I also look forward connecting and to become a productive member of the New England community."
Goncalves' career began in Switzerland with FC Basel, but he made his first official appearances with FC Winterhur in 2004 and Venezia in Italy in 2005. After that half season, Goncalves returned to Switzerland with FC Thun, making 26 appearances, including 10 in the UEFA Champions' League.
2006 marked Goncalves' move to FBK Kaunas, which resulted in an immediate loan to Hearts in Scotland, where he would spend much of his next five seasons. Apart from a loan to Nuremberg in Germany from 2008-2009, Goncalves was a key member of the Hearts defense until he departed for FC St. Gallen in Switzerland in January 2011 following a knee injury. After St. Gallen was relegated, Goncalves moved to FC Sion.
Goncalves also has international experience, amassing seven caps for the Portugal U-21 squad. Goncalves is eligible to represent Portgual, Cape Verde, and Switzerland.