A few weeks ago we (Corey) stumbled upon a curious tweet from monoapoel.com, a twitter account for a site that covers APOEL FC of the Cypriot First Division. The tweet was as follows:
Η διοίκηση μας θα δεχτεί την πρόταση που έχει καταθέσει η αμερικανική ομάδα New England Revolution (αγωνίζεται στο MLS) για τον Γκονσάλβες)— monoapoel.com (@monoapoelcom) December 23, 2013
My guess is that you can’t read that, so allow me (Google) to translate for you:
The administration will accept the proposal, submitted by American team New England Revolution (struggling in MLS) for Gkonsalves)
Initially this seemed like some sort of typo or misguided tidbit of information regarding the Revs signing our captain, Jose Goncalves, to a new, permanent deal earlier this off-season. But with a bit more investigation, it was discovered that APOEL has a Goncalves of their own, named Esmael, and he’s a 22-year-old winger/striker born in Guinea-Bissau, raised on Portugal, and on loan from Portuguese side Rio Ave FC.
Per his Wikipedia page, Goncalves began his career at French side OGC Nice before moving to Rio Ave. Just this past year he spent time on loan to Scottish outfit St. Mirren, scoring three goals in 12 appearances, and then eventually to APOEL where he has scored an additional three goals in 10 appearances with the Cyprus club.
The monoapoel.com twitter account also linked to an article on their website that stated the following (again, run through a google translation):
For if there is a proposal of Team USA for the Gkonsalves:
"These issues are handled by the program committee. Right now I do not want to make some reference to a specific player. In strengthening our effort is in addition to the Santini to bring another player who is ready to help with the resumption of the league. "
Combining this information with the rumored intel that Jay Heaps and Mike Burns were on a scouting trip in Cyprus this off-season led me to presume that this just might be the guy they were checking out.
Then today we (Corey) learned, thanks to fellow Revolution blogger Seth Macomber, that Esmael Goncalves was released by APOEL under mutual consent:
APOEL FC has announced that Esmael Gonçalves has been released. The resolution was under mutual consent.— apoel.net (@apoelnet_eng) December 31, 2013
Could the pieces be coming together for the Revs to acquire a new forward for their 2014 campaign? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. If the Revs were to land this new Goncalves, they would likely have to reach an agreement with Rio Ave, his mother club. If there is a deal in place, however, we should hear news of it pretty soon with the transfer window opening in January.