Leo De Oliveira Signs Five-Year Extension
The San Diego Sockers today announce the signing of midfielder Leonardo de Oliveira to a five-year contract extension through the 2027-28 MASL season. As per league and club rules, terms of the deal will not be announced publicly.
“We couldn’t be happier to sign ‘Leo’ to a contract we believe will keep him a Socker for the rest of his career,” said San Diego director of player personnel Chiky Luna, “You’re talking about one of the best two-way players in the league, a leader and someone we count on to bring another Ron Newman Cup to San Diego.”
“Leo”, 35, begins a second five-year term with the Sockers after coming to the club via a trade with the Ontario Fury in the 2018 offseason. A member of two MASL championship clubs in San Diego, de Oliveira has scored at least 40 points in each of his three full seasons. The MASL “Pass Master” in 2021-22 with 33 assists, Leo finished second in assists in 2022-23 with 27, while netting 13 goals for a 40-point campaign. In his Sockers career, de Oliveira has produced 62 goals and 102 assists (164 points) in 96 matches played.
Leonardo de Oliveira has proven himself as a big-game player, earning Ron Newman Cup Finals MVP in 2021, when he powered the offense with four goals, three assists, and added three blocks defensively. In 2021-22, Leo powered through a crippling ankle injury to post (2-6=8) points in three matches on route to a second straight championship.
While he was used as a forward in both Ontario and San Diego, de Oliveira launched into a new phase of his career when he was converted full-time to midfielder late in the 2021 season. He has since produced 60 assists in 46 matches, second only to Tacoma’s Nick Perera (64). Able to cover both ends of the floor with his athleticism and ball-handling prowess, Leo is counted upon not just as a facilitator but to dispossess opponents, control offensive possession and to execute on power plays and free kicks.
Selected as a starter for Team Brazil at the 2019 WMF World Cup in Perth, Australia, de Oliveira helped power Brazil to the Grand Final, bowing only to the eventual champions from Mexico. Along the way, Leo scored a goal in a 2-0 win over Team USA (and Sockers goalkeeper Boris Pardo). In 146 career MASL contests with Detroit, Ontario, and San Diego, de Oliveira has accrued 118 goals and 157 assists (275 points), an average of 1.90 points per game. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Leo still makes his home in Brazil in the offseason.
The Sockers embark upon their 24-match 2023-24 MASL regular season campaign with the club’s Home Opener on Sunday, December 3 at 5:05pm, when San Diego hosts the Tacoma Stars at Pechanga Arena. Season tickets and single-match tickets for every 2023-24 contest are available at sdsockers.com, or by calling (866) 799-GOAL.