After signing a proven goal scorer in Carlos "Chile" Farias, Wichita Wings coach LeBaron Hollimon has quickly filled another vital position with the acquisition of goalkeeper Sanaldo Freitas de Carvalho, a veteran of U.S. professional indoor soccer.
"This kind of gives us the backbone of our team," Hollimon said.
Carvalho, a 33-year-old Brazilian, was a member of the All-Major Indoor Soccer League rookie team in 2004 after going 6-2 with the Kansas City Comets.
The much-traveled keeper made 22 saves and was the MVP of a game in the MISL championship series in 2006. The next season, he helped the Detroit Ignition reach the MISL championship.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
In 2009-10, he was 6-9 with a 15.22 points-against average (the MISL uses a scoring system that includes 3-point, 2-point and 1-point goals) and a .715 saves percentage. Carvalho played two games in Omaha last season with a .611 saves percentage and a 16.03 PAA.
Providing a comparison that local fans may identify with, Hollimon likened Carvalho to Kris Peat, who had his jersey retired by the Wings in 2000.
The 6-foot Carvalho is taller than Peat, but both players share qualities like quickness and great feet — a must for Hollimon.
"With the indoor game, it's critical for generating and starting attacks," Hollimon said.
Hollimon, who played for the Wings from 1992-99, said Wichita fans will love their new goalkeeper's hardworking attitude and the excitement he brings.
"He's gonna make the saves, and the guy's probably gonna have a quite a few assists, too, because he's got the ability to play the ball out of the pack to our front guys, our goal scorers," Hollimon said. "Wichita fans are gonna like that."