Finally, a fan favorite has landed. Martim Galvão, who led Nashville SC’s U-23 side in scoring, personalized cheers from fans, crests famously kissed, etc. is a member of the USL Boys in Gold.
Galvão played in 13 games for the U-23s last year, notching seven goals (on just 14 shots) and four assists for a side that took 28 points from 14 games – he missed one of the draws, a 2-2 affair against South Georgia Tormenta (soon to be a member of USL D3) – and he picked up two yellow cards over the course of the season, as well. Interestingly, he almost never went the full 90 last season – which can be attributed to a number of factors, including that he was responsible for a large portion of the offensive load. The team finished third in the South Atlantic Division of the PDL, behind Myrtle Beach Mutiny and Charlotte Eagles.
In three years at Pfeiffer University, he started all 67 games he played, notching 22 goals on 130 shots (66 on goal) and 45 assists. He also picked up eight yellow cards in that time (about one every eight games). He’s seven goals shy of being on the all-time scorers chart at Pfeiffer – 29 goals is the seventh and final spot listed – but is the school’s all-time assist leader, and his 89 total points is fifth-best in school history – behind the top four goal-scorers. Pfeiffer was pretty good in his time with the school, going undefeated during his junior year (second on campus) with a 25-0 mark and capturing the D-II national title over Cal Poly Pomona. His first year, they went 17-5-1, and his final year at Pfeiffer saw him contribute to a 19-3 mark.
In case you don’t remember (or weren’t watching) last year, here’s his highlight reel from both NSC U-23 and three years at Pfeiffer:
The 5-9, 160-pounder is just a little guy, but his ball skills and exceptional touch translate very well to the next level. Of course, touch is universal, but defenders at the USL level are going to be far tougher to dribble right past than they were in PDL. He’s going to have to add to his game to continue being an effective player. He doesn’t have outstanding speed to make up for a lack of size, and will have to work on being stronger on the ball when opponents are better – or improve that speed some.
He brings good ability on free kicks as well. Though he doesn’t have a rocket, there’s plenty of power behind his ball. He doesn’t bend it much when going for goal (he had some wicked twister on corners), but can get it moving a bit. His primary asset from dead ball/set piece situations is outstanding accuracy. He picks out corners and side netting very well, and doesn’t give away his target in the run-up, leaving goalies guessing.
At 22 (turning 23 in July), Galvao is relatively youthful, but it’s important to keep fan expectations in check – especially given that he already comes in with a ton of popularity among those who aren’t discovering the team for the first time this year. The other young guys on the squad have USL or even MLS experience, or at the very least played at competitive Division-I programs in college (not that there’s a problem with D-II ball, but there’s a significant upgrade in the every-game grind of the ACC or Big Ten). He’s going to have to grow as a player, but I think he’s a nice developmental piece. There are tools there. Will he be on the inaugural MLS roster? Barring an insane improvement, no.
He could play winger (though I worry about his speed there more than I worry about size centrally), be a late game shot of energy when defenders’ legs are tired, and has something to provide as a set piece specialist at times.