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Breaking: Philadelphia Union acquire midfielder Jamiro Monteiro

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union announced the acquisition of 25-year-old midfielder Jamiro Monteiro on loan from French Ligue 2 side FC Metz on Tuesday afternoon.

The Dutch-born Cape Verdean adds to an already crowded collection of players head coach Jim Curtin can choose to fill his midfield diamond. It also marks Sporting Director Ernst Tanner’s sixth addition to the club from outside the organization.

“We have had our eye on Jamiro for some time, and we are please to complete this deal to bring him to Philadelphia,” Tanner stated in a press release. “He is a relentless box-to-box midfielder who we believe fits well into our tactical parameters for a central midfielder. We look forward to integrating him into the squad as quickly as possible with the young season just underway.”

While the deal is structured as a four-month loan through June, Philadelphia will be able to extend the loan through the conclusion of the 2019 MLS season and then have an additional option to buy at the end of the season. Monteiro was acquired using Targeted Allocation Money and will occupy an international roster slot.

Monteiro had made a combined six appearances, none since October, for FC Metz since joining the in July 2018 from Dutch club Heracles Almelo of the Eredivisie.

Prior to the move to France, Monteiro registered four goals and three assists in 34 Eredivisie appearances during the 2017-18 season. While being born in the Netherlands, the 25-year-old has been capped five times by Cape Verde.

Monteiro will wear number 35 for Philadelphia, and adds to the club’s midfield depth.

“I think we have a really strong midfield,” Union manager Curtin told PSP prior to the acquisition. “I think we can compete with anyone in the league. It’s the strength of our team.”

That strength didn’t necessarily show in the first game of the season against Toronto FC on Saturday, where lapses in the center of the pitch killed the club’s hope for three points.

Monteiro will likely challenge for time opposite Union captain Alejandro Bedoya as a second No. 8, where he can fill that box-to-box role Tanner described. His all-around game should be less one dimensional than that of counterparts Ilsinho and Warren Creavalle, who focus primarily on offense and defense respectively.

The signing also adds the question of what roles homegrown midfielders Brenden Aaronson, Anthony Fontana, and Derrick Jones will play this season. Jones, in particular, was believed to be in position for a breakout season this year, but was surprisingly absent from the opening day eighteen.

27 Comments

  1. Seems like a great partner for Bedoya at the 8.

    This does make it seem like HAris is here to stay at the 6, which makes me sad. I would much rather see Jones there.

  2. OneManWolfpack says:

    I’ll take this addition but if Curtin keeps playing Haris, I don’t think things get better.

  3. This is a great signing. Hopefully he’s our left side of the diamond. Now we just need to get Jones in for Haris at the 6, and we should be set.

    Aronson will be Fabián’s backup — no shame in that — and Fontana will backup both Bedoya and this new guy. Maybe Haris might get some time on the left if we need his left foot on offense.

  4. pragmatist says:

    The season is early, and I’m not putting too much weight on Game 1. This is a good way to follow up a disappointing result. Now we can move Harris away from his defensive responsibilities and open up more options.
    .
    I always give them 6 games to see how they sort things out. I’ll follow that mode again this season.

  5. This, to me, shows ET’s continuing proactive nature. His timing allows maximum impact on perception if nothing else, given the exceptionally poor showing by Curtin’s ‘best in the league’ midfield in the opener. Let’s hope he is put to immediate use to shore up the defense and maybe even create more offensive chances. Still wondering, like others commenting, why no Derrick Jones…well done Mr. Tanner.

  6. It’s nice, but does Curtin actually play him. I hope he practices well…

  7. I like it. Tanner is making moves and bringing in talent. I think this puts more pressure on Curtin. There are enough pieces to be successful….so go do it.

  8. More and more pressure on Curtin…. the cynic in me says he resorts back to the comfortable

  9. Can he play right back?
    .
    Joking aside, Tanner thinks so highly of him, we are only willing to commit now to 4 months (with the option to extend for the rest of the season.) I’d rather see Aaronson get those minutes at the MLS level than a Ligue 2 player we are test driving.
    .
    FC Metz is at the top of the table in Ligue 2 and he hasn’t been in the lineup since October. Maybe I’d feel differently if he helped them get there, but he’s not playing.
    .
    I don’t like this move.

    • Aaronsen is a 10 this guy is more of a perfect fit at the 8. Seems like a Bedoya light.

    • From watching the highlights of this guy before he got to Metz, he could almost play anywhere. He’s got good feet, good passing, speed, and can score. I really wonder what happened at Metz.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Conversely, it is only 4 months and if things are right, you can let him walk. I personally think he is an upgrade to what we would have opposite Bedoya and for me, a 4 month tryout is well worth it.

  10. Hopefully he proves me wrong.

  11. el Pachyderm says:

    strange.
    .
    shows such little confidence in Fontana or Jones.
    .
    Both players are ‘box to box midfielders’
    .
    I cut Aaronson slack and really did not expect to see him much this year- but Anthony and Derrick?
    .

    • I think Jones and Fontana is more of a Curtin issue.

      Ernst looks at the CM depth chart and decides we need more depth, so taking a flyer on a former Dutch Division 2 Player of the Year for at least a 4 month loan is low risk high reward. Thats his job as GM and hes doing it well.

      Jones and Fontana can still start over this guy – he does not have THAT amazing a pedigree – but I think Curtin sucks as a coach and can’t put his money where his mouth is. At the very least, Jones should be starting either at the 6 or at the 8 for his defense.

      • Do we know Jones is any good? Not sure why every fan feels they know more then the coaching staff. I remember Bobby Warshaw saying that he was not very impressed by Jones and how he tended to play down to the competition.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        You are correct, none of us is on the practice field.
        .
        Funny you say though….I remember when Kleberson came here and John Hackworth remanded him to the bench.
        .
        Kleberson.
        .
        A player of such astounding quality, skill and ability to slow things down while playing quick as shit—the very second he came on the field (when it actually happened) the entire game took on a ‘molly’ quality and everything was ecstatic. Maybe he was oft injured…. or
        .
        maybe….taste is fickly subjective….if you’re out of favor, you’re out of favor.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      Agreed, it’s baffling.

  12. Is it possible Ernst is adding more players so he can offload other players during the season? Maybe this is a way to trim the fat.

  13. Per one of the Union website articles on the signing:
    .
    “The Union are not, however, wedded to that shape. And as the season progresses they could utilize something closer to the 4-2-2-2 shape that Bethlehem Steel has favored this preseason.”
    .
    .
    .
    Jumped out at me because that is the shape I thought they would use based of Tanner’s comments in the offseason and is more adept at setting pressing traps then the diamond. Time will tell.

  14. Steven Turner says:

    As so many others have commented before, we were promised a youth movement and a focus on the academy – yet the actions of the club suggest otherwise, and this signing will only push the HGs farther down the depth chart. And I’m certainly not complaining about the club making actual signings that SEEM to improve the team, but I keep wondering why the team does NOT improve, and despite the continual failures and disappointments why the kids are not playing more. Just imagine if this team didn’t waste our time in 2017 and actually played some kids, who in turn could’ve contributed more last year and maybe helped the team not shit the bed come playoff time.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Disagree. It takes a mix of HG, veterans, and DPs to win in MLS. I don’t think any of the additions that have been made have truly ruined a HG player, any more than Curtin’s unwillingness to play them in the first place. Jones should be playing over Haris. Aronson is backup for now and should grow to be your guy. We don’t have a HG striker waiting in the wings, do we? I just feel Curtin and his player selection is more of the problem than any signing

  15. If you take a look at the highlights video that Brotherly Game posted, it’s almost exclusively of Monteiro’s defensive and tackling abilities. It’s about 15 minutes of him winning the ball nd forcing turnovers. They may not say he’s a #6, but he sure plays like one in those highlights.

    • Just watched and agree. He could probably be the most balanced #6 on the team if they wanted to play him there – Jones being strictly defensive and Haris strictly offensive.

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