Boston-area native Patrick Leal signed a new, five-year contract with Portuguese powerhouse Sporting CP on Monday.
Leal, 16, has been under contract and training with Sporting’s youth teams for the past year and has been closely monitored by the club’s first-team staff in recent months. He assisted twice in Sporting CP U-17’s 4-0 victory over Caldas Sunday.
The new contract allows Leal to train with or get promoted to Sporting’s first team, though club staff expects him to remain at the youth level for at least the remainder of this year, according to a source.
Sporting could also opt to send Leal on loan at a later date, though his new contract prohibits him from playing anywhere else in Portugal, the source also said.
Leal, who has a European Union passport and is eligible to play for Portugal, has earned a call-up for any of the United States’ youth teams in three years.