Birmingham Legion signs Gabriel Alves
Brazilian count back up to 1
The Birmingham Legion today announced the signing of defender/midfielder Gabriel Alves. Alves is a 23-year-old Brazilian from Sao Paolo and was a star at Marshall University, where he missed just one game over four seasons. He was also on the roster of South Georgia Tormenta’s League Two team (not the team that beat the Legion in the US Open Cup last year). He has no fully professional experience to date, but Marshall has been extremely successful over the past few years, including winning the NCAA championship in 2020, with Alves playing the entire title game (against Indiana, which went 103 minutes, ending with a golden goal). He was also the team captain in his final season in 2022.
He plays primarily as a left back, so he is not Jonny Dean’s replacement, and it seems likely that Jake Rufe will probably be seen playing on the right side of the defense. However, he is a versatile player and is also expected to play in central midfield. That raises some interesting options for the Three Sparks as they enter the new season. It is also worth noting that the Legion has already been pretty successful picking Brazilian expats out of US colleges…
As we get ever closer to the 2023 season, things are beginning to firm up.
With that, welcome to the Magic City, Gabriel Alves!