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Union sign Brazilian midfielder Gilberto dos Santos Souza Junior

Philadelphia Union announced on Friday the signing of Brazilian midfielder Gilberto dos Santos Souza Junior.

“When the opportunity was presented to bring in Gilberto, we felt that it was a move with a lot of upside,” Union manager John Hackworth said in a news release. “He’s a young guy with a lot of potential and we are excited to add him to our roster.”

The midfielder occupies the sixth international slot on the Union roster.

The press release describes the 24-year-old as having played with Clube Atlético Bragantino and América Futebol Clube (MG) of Brazil’s Serie B and Clube Atlético Mineiro in Brazil’s Série A, as well as Clube Atlético Sorocaba in the Campeonato Paulista. América and Atlético are located in Belo Horizonte, while the others are in Sao Paolo state.

Deeper information about the player is scarce. The most recent data at shows him appearing in ten matches for Clube de Regatas Brasil (AL) in 2012 for a total of 667 minutes, and one match for América Futebol Clube (MG) for 27 minutes, both in Serie B. In 2011, he appeared in six matches for 235 minutes in Serie A for Clube Atlético Mineiro, which won the Copa Libertadores this year. Soccerway shows him appearing in 5 matches for Serie B club America Mineiro in 2012 for a total of 94 minutes.

Gilberto played in 16 matches for Sorocaba in 2013, scoring one goal over 1292 minutes. Incidentally, Sorocaba is owned by Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.

The Union press release says Gilberto “will join the team pending reception of his U.S. P-1 Visa, International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and a physical examination and will occupy an international roster spot.” As always, per club and league policy, the terms of the signing have not been disclosed.

Name: Gilberto
Position: Midfielder
Age: 24
Birthdate: 10/20/1988
Height: 6-2
Weight: 180
Hometown: Serrinha, Brazil
Last Club: Clube Atlético Sorocaba


  1. Yes!! Finally a defensive holding midfielder. Fago de Chao business is booming this year.

  2. Good size. Always nice to get some height. Curious what “style” of mid he plays – holding, wing, etc.

  3. Terrible move.

  4. It sounds like we acquire players VIA Brazilian lottery scratch off.
    Buys ticket
    scratch scratch scratch
    Buys another
    scratch scratch scratch
    Buys another
    scratch scratch scratch
    Gilberto? well I can’t lose forever right?

  5. Wait the Moonies own a soccer club?

    • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

      That was my biggest take away. Certainly spent more time searching on that than on the signing.

  6. I look forward to GDS being scratched for the balance of the year.

  7. I am happy that the team continues to scout players. We could use a little less negativity on this site.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Agreed. Who do these people want Ronaldo? Relax. See what this kid has got. He’s young. Could be a nice player. Plus… it’s got to be better than the Central American garbage A-Hole was bringing in last year.

      • How do you figure? The guy’s not even on Wikipedia. I’m trying not to draw any conclusions before I see him in a Union uniform.
        I’m very happy that we’re scouting new talent, but on a day when the Sounders are rumored to be bringing in Clint Dempsey (which I am skeptical of, but still), it’s almost an insult to recruit this nearly anonymous fellow. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I wish the the Union were scouting for diamonds in the rough instead of cubic zirconia.

      • No I don’t expect Ronaldo. But what I want/hope for/expect is Veljko Paunović, a good quality player who can be plugged into the lineup and be a solid contributor. Recent acquisitions make me doubt that is the case, the guy has a Damani Richards vibe to him.
        But screw it I’ll give him a chance.

  8. Maybe a backup Center Back?

    • Jaaaaap Stam says:

      If we’re going to mine for gold in a country Brazil is a pretty darned good one to choose…..I think. Do we still have that ‘super scout’ from Latin America on the payroll? (Ricardo Ansaldi?) I hope so. What the heck I’m just thrilled that we are not being complacent.

  9. Yessssss the Sounders are going after a player like Dempsey and the U go after a 2nd division Brazilian! Great job as always by the U.


    Kill me now.

    • Yeah and then there’s this line quoting Sounders owner Drew Carey in a SI article regarding the transfer….

      During the club’s inaugural MLS season in 2009, Carey said, “One of the main reasons we’ve been successful is, I think a lot of sports teams, not just in soccer but teams in other sports, you can tell when they’re run by accountants. They don’t have any passion. It’s just about selling tickets, a promotion here or there. You can always tell. We’re a team that’s not run by accountants. Everybody here has a passion for winning and success. All of us, between Adrian, me and Joe and, well, Paul Allen, nobody really needs money.”

    • 36,000 per home match, versus our club that can’t sell out PPL on a perfect August evening. MLS got Dempsey, and the Sounders can pay for him. They deserve him. The U are a second tier MLS squad. I’m sorry you bought the parity hype.

  10. Another guy to sit on the bench? Another 2nd string acquisition. Pathetic. Trully Pathetic.

  11. The negativity comes from track record. Look at the international/DP signings, look at their performance, now back at me…I’m on a horse.

    But yeah, past results have me skeptical.

  12. I’m not trying to give anyone a hard time and I am certainly not one to make excuses for some of the terrible decisions and signings by the FO, but I don’t get the negative reactions here. The idea that we should assume he is bad just because we have signed bad players in the past doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Why not wait to see if he is any good or if he contributes before getting angry that he isn’t Clint Dempsey

    • Because people want a quality signing not a player from the Brasilian 2nd division. Besides I’m sure he is another “depth” signing. Their track record is fairly poor.

      • Yea how many guys have the Union brought in with that here is this guy you never heard of but he will contribute that actually panned out.

      • I guess i just don’t know why we would assume he isn’t any good. For instance, had anyone heard of Wheeler before he got here? I know Wheeler isn’t some kind of superstar but i think he is pretty good and I’m glad he is with the team. Who knows what this new guy will do. If he sucks i will be the first in line to say he should be fired into the sun but I’m not going to assume he is worthless just because i don’t know anything about him

      • For a better example, Paunovic. There’s some revisionist history, I think, about his signing. “Old Serb” wasn’t a term of endearment when he first signed; it was said in derision. He turned out to be OK.
        I don’t know if this guy is going to be any good, or if he’ll ride the bench, or if he’ll be packing his bags and going home next week. Also, we don’t know what the team is paying him. If he’s a depth player at CB and CDM and makes $45,000? I’m OK with that. If he makes $200,000? Not so much.

  13. I’m skeptical because of Hackworth’s system. It doesn’t matter who he plugs in, because his style is crap.
    Also: This is now the third Brazilian. There is no such thing as a cheap or under-valued Brazilian. They will always cost more.
    Why are we not delving deeper into Eastern Europe, Asia, or Africa? Even Australia? That’s where the value is.
    Again, we wouldn’t even need this signing with another coach. We have good CAMs & CDMs on the team (not playing, or out of position)…and HAD good CB depth.
    I guess we’ll see. When’s our next friendly? That’s probably the only time we’ll see him.

    • I got myself thinking…and very off topic, but to continue my rant…
      Imagine The U had brought in Porter.
      Williams — Soumare — Parke — LB
      Le Toux ———————Adu

      I say Porter b/c I like his style and would have been good for Adu. He and Kleberson are a wash, so why not actually utilize one of them? Okugo can cover tons of ground and can pass.
      Not saying that Porter would have brought in Le Toux or Casey, but I’m just trying to point out that we have quality on this team, but very poor coaching and we win despite.
      Sorry, but this new Brazilian just got me thinking how much it doesn’t matter how good he is.

      • Yeah I agree with you completely here. I feel so frustrated when I see that no matter what, barring injury or suspension, Cruz and Daniel get the start every game. I know that we have better central midfielders than Daniel. I have seen them; I know they are here

  14. I agree with D, except that I believe Kleiberson is an improvement and he is what we need in center mid. I understand the Union have a budget they have to work with and aren’t spending it on big name players. Buuutttt what has me disappointed is that Hack doesn’t put the best 11 on the field and/or in the right places in my opinion. Hack needs to get lineup right. It’s frustrating to watch when I know we could do better. Let me ask a question. How many games did we play this year with a man up? How many we’re wins that would have been ties or loses. How many we’re ties that would have been loses? I believe if we didnt

  15. He’s only 24, as a clean slate there is huge potential. The midfield is so bad I’m not complaining about bringing anyone in! And seriously, this is the philadelphia union, he’s probably getting paid less than 60 g. Of course in 3 weeks if there are 3 brazilians sitting on the bench and Danny Cruz and Keon Daniel are starting I’m gonna lose my marbles!!!!!

    • He is “only 24″……. He should be in his prime yet he was seemingly dropping down the Brazilian leagues. We haven’t heard much – but seems he is a defensive midfielder (yet another). I swear we will have a team of 10 defensive midfielders and Zach one day.

      • If we had 10 defensive midfielders and an Italian coach who plays the catanaccio I’ll take it!!!!!!

    • you gotta remember that Kleberson was brought in to get rid of Adu.
      Fabiano was brought in to be a left back (maybe…I don’t know) but seems to exist at this point to come in when Danny Cruz runs into a wall, hurts his hip falling down or dies
      And this kid, looks like a D-mid but I suspect Hack is gonna convert him into a defender.

  16. Spot on about the red cards, I understand you make your own luck, but hackworth is the luckiest manager on the planet!

  17. Some video has surfaced of Gilberto. Playing primarily defensive somewhat unremarkable soccer.
    But hey it exists.

  18. The Black Hand says:

    Thank God! We picked up ANOTHER Brazilian midfielder to sit on the bench, to cheer on Farfan, Daniel, Carroll and Cruz.

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