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Official: Steven Vitoria joins the Philadelphia Union

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Benfica center back joins the Union on loan with an option to buy

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Union's quiet winter seems to be over. With Carlos Valdes going to Uruguay's Nacional last Friday, the Union have brought in Benfica center back Stephen Vitoria on loan through the end of the 2015 season "pending the receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate." Naturally per MLS, terms of the loan aren't disclosed (they never are), except that we know that it is a loan with an option to buy at the end. So depending on how Vitoria plays - and I hate to say it, but depending on the situation with Valdes at the end of the year - the Union will have the option of buying Vitoria's contract outright.

The 6'5" Vitoria has spent the past year and a half with Benfica in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, however didn't play in the 2014-15 season, however  the club won four domestic cups in the same year in 2014. Vitoria holds both Portuguese and Canadian citizenship and while he is not capped at the senior level, he has made appearances for Portugal's U19 and U20 teams. There is a great deal of speculation from Canadian fans that he might decide to play for Canada since he hasn't received much attention from the Portuguese National Team. It's also worth noting that Vitoria started his career as a striker, but has always played professionally as a center back.