The Swope Park Rangers today announced that the club has signed Kevin Oliveira from Portuguese club Benfica B. Oliveira becomes the fourth player on the Rangers’ roster to occupy a Foreign Player roster spot, and will join the club pending the receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
Oliveira, 19, spent time on loan at Segunda Liga side SC Covilha from Benfica earlier this season, making nine appearances in all competitions. Oliveira scored his only goal for the club on his league debut – a 2-2 draw with CD Santa Clara.
After moving to Portugal from Cape Verde at age 14 and joining Benfica’s Academy in 2010, Oliveira reached the Under-19 level in the 2014-15 season. In addition to playing several U-19 league games, the Sao Vicente native made three appearances in the 2014-15 UEFA Youth League, helping the side reach the quarterfinals, beating Liverpool in the Round of 16 before being eliminated on penalties by Shakhtar Donetsk.
In 2014, Oliveira scored twice as Benfica finished as runners-up in the Durban U-19s International Football Tournament, falling in the final to Brazilian side Santos. Oliveira was also named MVP of several international tournaments, including the Al Ain International Football Youth Championship (United Arab Emirates, 2013) and the Verbania Tournament (Italy, 2013).
Oliveira spent time in camp with the Cape Verde National Team in March 2015, scoring a goal in a scrimmage with Portuguese club team Belenenses, two days before Cape Verde beat Portugal 2-0 in a friendly.
“I’m very happy and excited to join the group of players and the club,” Oliveira said. “I think I can still grow a lot as a player and I could learn from people like Marc (Dos Santos) and Nikola (Popovic) that know about the culture I’m coming from – it will make my adaptation easier. I’m looking forward to being in Kansas City and joining the Swope Park Rangers.”
“Having Kevin joining our club is important for what we are building,” Swope Park Rangers head coach Marc Dos Santos said. “Kevin is a young player with incredible potential. He’s a dynamic midfielder who works well both offensively and defensively and we want to provide him with the right environment to succeed in North America.”
Born: 6/8/1996 (19 years old)
Hometown: Sao Vicente, Cape Verde
Birthplace: Sao Vicente, Cape Verde
Citizenship: Cape Verde