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Hartford Sign Former Sporting CP Goalkeeper Renan Ribeiro
The 33-year-old veteran goalkeeper is the first acquisition in what promises to be a busy offseason for the Green and Blue.
Just one day following the news of Conor McGlynn’s departure, Hartford Athletic announced Tuesday the signing of 33-year-old veteran Brazilian goalkeeper Renan Ribeiro.
The former Sporting CP and São Paulo keeper spent the better part of the last decade playing in the Brazilian and Portuguese top flights since the beginning of his career in 2009, before eventually landing with Saudi Pro League side Al-Ahli, where he spent a very brief stint in 2022.
In that time, he racked up more than 153 appearances and over 13,000 minutes between the sticks in all competitions, including eight appearances in the Europa League for Sporting CP. His time in Portugal also saw him pick up considerable silverware, in the form of the Portuguese Cup in 2019 and the 2018/19 Portuguese League Cup.
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Despite more than 70 appearances in Brazil’s Série A and 55 in Liga Portugal, the shot-stopper has been without a club since September of 2022, when he left Al-Ahli after less than three months without making an appearance for the Saudi side.
The last competitive appearance for Ribeiro dates back to 2019, when the goalkeeper conceded a penalty and was subsequently sent off in Sporting CP’s Europa League loss to Austria’s LASK on Dec. 12. He then fell out of favor at the club before being released in 2022 and joining Al-Ahli.
After it was initially reported by The Hartford Courant that Ribeiro was in attendance for Hartford’s final home game of the 2023 season, the goalkeeper has now officially put pen to paper in a deal that will see him assume the starting role for the Green and Blue. With Richard Sánchez gone and Marvyn Dorchin out of contract, Joe Rice remains the only other goalkeeper currently rostered for Hartford.
“Renan is a true professional with world-class experience and will be central to our success next season,” Hartford CEO Nick Sakiewicz said in a club statement. “This is one of the biggest signings in club and USL Championship history, and we are looking forward to introducing Renan to the fans over the coming months.”
The good news — Hartford have an experienced goalkeeper with extensive European experience heading into 2024, who showcased exceptional shot-stopping ability in his prime. The bad news — his last action was a red card four years ago. Regardless, the move adds valuable experience to a keeper room that was the worst in the league by far in 2023, and only time will tell if the 33-year-old is still as sharp as his European years.