Minnesota United has signed defender Francisco Calvo using Targeted Allocation Money ahead of its inaugural MLS season. Joining the Loons from Costa Rican powerhouse Saprissa, Calvo will be added to Minnesota's roster pending receipt of his ITC and P-1 Visa.
“You can’t be anything but impressed with Calvo and the way he has been playing recently,” said MNUFC Head Coach Adrian Heath. “He is a mainstay in the Costa Rican National Team and has excelled as a player with Saprissa. Today we added another really quality piece to a growing roster.”
At five feet eleven inches tall Calvo plays well above his height, making a name for himself at Saprissa scoring goals from set pieces. In 28 matches last season, Calvo tallied nine goals and one assist, with six goals in league play. An integral member of the Saprissa defensive line, he was a consistent starter in 2016 and helped the club earn a place in the CONCACAF Champions League quarter final. In 2015, Calvo scored two goals in the first leg of the Torneo de Invierno, leading Saprissa to its thirty-second title.
“The great thing about Francisco is that he can play virtually anywhere in the back four, he’s an incredibly intelligent footballer,” said Heath. “He has a lot of versatility and his best years are ahead of him.”
Whether playing at left back or at centerback, Calvo does well to stretch the pitch and create an imbalance in the attack. At just 24 years old, Calvo has potential to be a familiar name in Minnesota for years to come. He does well with teams that possess the ball, but is athletic enough to push up the pitch and stay with his marks when under pressure.
Calvo joins Minnesota United alongside fellow Costa Rican Johan Venegas. The pair are well-acquainted, having both represented their national team with Calvo earning his first cap in 2011. Calvo has 17 total appearances with the Costa Rica national team and four with the U20 squad, scoring one goal.
Join MNUFC for its home opener on March 12 – the first ever Major League Soccer match in Minnesota. Season tickets are available now at MNUFC.COM.
Born: 7/8/1992 (24 years old)
Weight: 170 lbs.
Last Club: Saprissa
Hometown: San José, Costa Rica
Birthplace: San José, Costa Rica
Citizenship: Costa Rica