The New England Revolution bolstered its back line and midfield by acquiring Cristhian Machado from Club Deportivo Jorge Wilstermann of Bolivia’s Serie A.
Machado, 28, holds a United States green card and will occupy a senior roster spot, opening the door for the Revolution to potentially add more reinforcements from overseas later this summer.
Machado has played mostly as a defensive midfielder but is touted for his versatility. He’s made 145 appearances for Jorge Wilstermann and also played for Sport Boys Warnes (Bolivia) and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL).
New England was linked to Machado last December but passed on the player, opting instead to sign Luis Caicedo. It’s likely that Revolution assistant coach Marcelo Neveleff helped engineer the deal to acquire Machado on Monday. Neveleff was part of Wilstermann’s coaching staff from 2011 to 2012.
Machado and Wilstermann mutually agreed to terminate his contract on July 18, according to Bolivian newspaper Los Tiempos. Machado played for the club 17 years, rising through its youth ranks to the first team. Both the player and club are sad to see him go, according to the report.
“I’m going sad,” Machado told Los Tiempos.”Wilstermann is where I played 17 years, I gave everything for this club. I do not know if I will return in a few months or years, but I want to return to Wilstermann, I want to finish my career here. I’m going to do it, I’m going to say goodbye to football here. ”
Wilstermann’s technical director, Ronald Rodriguez, is quoted in Los Tiempos saying that if Machado ever returns to Bolivia he can only play for Wilstermann.
For now, however, Major League Soccer is Machado’s future.
His arrival in New England coincides with the club’s recent slump: three consecutive losses and at least two goals conceded per game in five of the last six matches.
Machado is being touted by the club for his versatility, specifically his ability to assist in the midfield and on defense. He has made three appearances with the Bolivia national team, including two starts in defensive midfield for Bolivia in a pair of World Cup qualifiers against Brazil and Uruguay on Oct. 5 and Oct. 11, 2017, respectively.
“We are happy to add a talented and experienced player in Cristhian who is capable of contributing in a variety of positions and roles on the field,” Revolution general manager Mike Burns said in a statement. “We believe his versatility and pedigree will immediately benefit the club and add competition to the roster.”