When Patrick Leal (Newton, Mass.) played in the IberCup for Valeo FC several years back, he began to dream of one day playing in Europe.
That goal is now locked up, as Leal signed a five-year contract with Sporting CP earlier this week. The first three years of the deal are with academy of the Portuguese powerhouse, then it rolls into a professional deal for the last two.
Leal, 16, started in Portugal two years ago with C.F. Os Belenenses and also spent a year with the New England Revolution Academy. He also has featured in a U.S. U-14 national team camp, though told New England Soccer Journal that he hasn’t since heard from the federation.