Philadelphia Union announced today that the club has acquired veteran Brazilian international José Kléberson on loan from Esporte Clube Bahia. Additionally, the Union have reached a contract termination by mutual consent with Freddy Adu, who has subsequently signed with Bahia. Kléberson, a former FIFA World-Cup Champion, will join the team pending reception of his U.S. P-1 Visa, International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and a medical examination and will occupy a Designated Player and international roster spot. Per club and MLS policies, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We’re excited to have a player with his kind of experience join an already talented roster,” Team Manager John Hackworth said. “Kléberson has had success at the world’s highest level of competition – both on a club and international level – and we hope he can add another dimension to our team.”
Kléberson, 33, has seen extensive success on the international level, featuring on Brazil’s winning teams in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, 2004 Copa América and 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, while also being selected to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. For his career, Kléberson has appeared in 32 matches for his native Brazil.
As a 23-year-old, Kléberson gained global recognition as he helped lead Brazil to a world-record fifth FIFA World Cup title, starting in the 2002 FIFA World Cup Final against Germany and assisting in the 79th minute on Ronaldo’s second goal to help his country clinch a 2-0 victory. His performance that summer led to Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson signing the Brazilian on a permanent transfer to the English club.
In addition to his success with Brazil’s National Team, the midfielder has spent time playing in some of the top leagues around the world. The Brazilian international has had stints in the English Premier League, Turkish Süper Lig and Brazilian Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, while also appearing in UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches. Kléberson contributed to squads that were winners of the FA Community Shield (Manchester United, 2003), FA Cup (Manchester United, 2004), Turkish Super Cup (Beşiktaş, 2006) and Turkish Cup (Beşiktaş, 2006, 2007) and of Brazilian Série A (Atlético Paranaense, 2007; Flamengo 2009).
Philadelphia Union part ways with Adu after the club signed the 23-year-old American midfielder in August of 2011 under former head coach Peter Nowak. Adu made 35 appearances for the Union, scoring seven times and assisting twice.
“We would like to thank Freddy Adu for his service to the Union over the past two years and wish him the best of luck as he continues his career in Brazil,” said Hackworth.
Philadelphia Union travel to Red Bull Arena for a matchup this Saturday against Eastern Conference rivals New York Red Bulls on NBC Sports Network at 3:30 p.m.
Name: José Kléberson
Hometown: Urai, Brazil
Last Club: Esporte Clube Bahia