FOXBOROUGH — The Revolution went north to Canada to find one of their most dynamic wingers when they brought in Tajon Buchanan. Three years later, the Revolution looked south for an outside midfielder, signing Colombian U-20 national teamer Dylan Borrero on a $4.5 million transfer from Atletico Mineiro in Brazil.
Borrero, 20, played for Independiente Santa Fe in Colombia and won three titles with Atletico Mineiro –Brasileiro Serie A, Copa do Brasil, and the Brazilian Super Cup.
“That was the player we looked for, that was the player without a doubt that was our No. 1 choice,” sporting director/head coach Bruce Arena said before the Revolution (2-4-1, 7 points) departed for Saturday’s game at D.C. United.
The Revolution sold Buchanan, a member of Canada’s national team, to Club Brugge in Belgium for $7 million last season after he scored 12 goals in all competitions, concluding with the tying score in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Revolution paid 21 million Brazilian reais ($4.5 million) to Atletico Mineiro, which will retain 20 percent of a sell-on fee for Borrero, according to SuperEsportes, and signed him to a three-year contract with a one-year club option.
“Negotiations went on for a while, stalled, came back, stalled, came back, that kind of thing,” Arena said. “You always need to see players in your own environment but we think he’s very promising.”
Borrero is right-footed, but usually lines up on the left wing, Arena said.
“Similar qualities, physically and technically, all of that,” said Arena, comparing Borrero and Buchanan. “He’s technically good, he’s got speed, he’s 20 years old, and he is still going to grow into his body more. I think he’s a very promising attacking player. We need another attacking player. We think he has a lot of potential.”
Borrero, listed at 5 feet 10 inches, 160 pounds, will join the Revolution “whenever he gets his visa, within a couple weeks,” Arena said. “We need to see him fit in here and all of that. We can’t jump to any conclusions [but] the reason we did what we did is we think he’s a guy who can help us.”
Borrero played for five managers in two-plus years at Atletico Mineiro, which rallied under Alexi Stival “Cuca” to win the Brazilian title for the first time since 1971. Borrero joined Atletico on a $1.1 million transfer from Independiente and had three goals in 47 appearances.
In 27 seasons, the Revolution have used 13 Colombia-born players, including two from Borrero’s hometown, Palmira, Valle del Cauca: defender Carlos Llamosa, who played for Arena with D.C. United and the US men’s national team, and left back Cristian Mafla.
As a U-22 signing, Borrero’s salary will count as a “reduced budget charge” on the Revolution salary cap, according to the league.
Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.