After helping the Crew conquer MLS a month ago, Steven Moriera now has his sights on doing the same in an international competition. He’s been named to Cape Verde’s final roster for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations taking place in Ivory Coast.
Moreira earned his first cap for Cape Verde back in October in a friendly with Algeria. This call up is a bit different because he’ll be appearing in at least three games during the tournament’s opening-round pool play. Cape Verde opens play on January 14th against Ghana, before taking on Mozambique on the 19th and Egypt on the 22nd. Moving on to the next round will be a challenge because Egypt (33rd) and Ghana (61st) are ranked ahead of Moreira’s 73rd ranked side.
Although he was born in France and has represented them internationally at the youth level, the 29-year-old Moreira chooses to play for the native country of his parents. He started all but one of the Crew’s regular season games this past season and was their best defender-he received votes for inclusion on the league’s Best XI at season’s end. In the MLS Cup final, he drew the assignment of marking Denis Bouanga. Moreira’s work in helping to control the LAFC goal-scoring ace is a key reason why the Crew was able to come away with a 2-1 win. Just after that championship win, he re-signed with the Crew and will be with the club through 2025.
As a fan, I get concerned over a Crew player being injured when on an international callup. But it is such an honor for these players and so much fun watching them compete for their country. Unfortunately, if you want to see Moreira’s Africa Cup of Nations matches, you’re going to have to do some searching to find them.