LA Galaxy Sign Three Players On Loan From Sao Paulo FC
CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, December 23, 2009) - The LA Galaxy announced today that they have acquired three players on loan from Sao Paulo FC of the Brazilian Campeonato for the 2010 MLS season. Alex, a 21-year-old left-sided player, Juninho, a 20-year-old central midfielder and Leonardo, a 21-year-old central defender each spent two weeks training with the Galaxy in October, giving the Galaxy coaching staff a chance to see the players in action first hand. Per team and league policy, details of the loan agreements were not disclosed. All three players will be officially added to the Galaxy roster upon the receipt of their P1 visas and International Transfer Clearances (ITC).
All three players have come through the youth ranks at Sao Paulo, having played on the team that won the Super Group of the 2007 Dallas Cup, defeating Real Madrid and Chelsea en route to the title. They were also all on loan earlier this year with Toledo in the First Division of the Brazilian Paraná Championship.
Juninho is the youngest of the three players joining the Galaxy, not turning 21 until early next month. A quick and creative central midfielder, he has been at Sao Paulo since March 2004. Good with the ball at his feet and capable of striking the ball from set pieces, he was a member of Sao Paulo's U-17 Paulista Championship side in 2006.
A big, quick and athletic left-sided player, Alex joined Sao Paulo in December 2005 after beginning his career with Mirassol FC. Capable of playing at left back or in the midfield, he helped Sao Paulo finish second in the Brazilian Under-20 league in 2007 before making his debut with the Brazilian Under-20 National Team in June 2009.
Rounding out the group is Leonardo, a central defender who has been with Sao Paulo since the age of 13. A former member of the Brazilian Under-16 and Under-17 National Teams, Leonardo is a tall, physical presence who is good with the ball at his feet and strong in the air, thanks in large part to his 6-foot-2 stature. He has won U-15, U-17 and U-20 Paulista Championships with Sao Paulo and was a part of the club's Campeonato title in 2008.
Sao Paulo recently completed the 2009 domestic season, finishing with an 18-9-11 record for 65 points, two points behind champions Flamengo. The club is famous for their vaunted youth academy which is rated as one of the world's best, having produced players such as current and former Brazilian internationals Adriano, Cafu, Denilson, Julio Baptista and Kaka.
Alex, Juninho, Leonardo and the rest of LA Galaxy will kick off the 2010 MLS season on Saturday, March 27 when they host the New England Revolution at The Home Depot Center. This game kicks off at 8 p.m. and fans can purchase tickets now through a special LA Galaxy Holiday Pack. With the Holiday Pack, fans receive four tickets to the game against New England, four Galaxy beanies and a holiday card all for as little as $76. For more information or to purchase a Holiday Pack or Galaxy season tickets for the 2010 MLS season, please visit www.lagalaxy.com or call 1-877-3GALAXY (342-5299).
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Major League Soccer Stories from December 23, 2009
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