Zé Roberto (footballer, born 1978)

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Zé Roberto
Personal information
Full name José Roberto Gomes Santana
Date of birth (1978-09-13) September 13, 1978 (age 45)
Place of birth Pastos Bons, Brazil
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Position(s) Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2000 Tuna Luso Brasileira
1998Palmeiras (loan)
1999Corinthians (loan)
1999 → Seà San Carlese (loan)
2000–2001 Harrisburg Heat (indoor) 33 (3)
2002–2003 Harrisburg Heat (indoor) 28 (11)
2000–2001 Hershey Wildcats 50 (9)
2002–2007 Montreal Impact 138 (17)
2003–2005 Philadelphia KiXX (indoor) 56 (19)
2007 Vancouver Whitecaps 6 (0)
2007–2008 Detroit Ignition (indoor) 29 (7)
2007–2009 Rochester Rhinos 32 (4)
2009–2022 San Diego Sockers (indoor) 171 (26)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 16 December 2022

José Roberto Gomes Santana, commonly known as Zé Roberto (born September 13, 1978, in Pastos Bons) is an association footballer who last played for the San Diego Sockers in the Major Arena Soccer League.

Zé Roberto began his career in his native Brazil, where he played with several clubs in the lower divisions. In 2002, he went abroad to North America to sign with the Hershey Wildcats of the A-League. After the Wildcats folded, Zé Roberto was signed by the Montreal Impact in 2002. In Montreal he played an important role that would transform the Impact into a league powerhouse that would eventually dominate the league for latter part of the decade. His accolades during his tenure with Montreal include the League Championship, Regular-Season Championship, and the Voyageurs Cup. In January, 2010 he was ranked 22nd in the USL First Division Top 25 of the Decade, which announced a list of the best and most influential players of the previous decade.[1]


Midway through the 2007 season, Zé Roberto was traded to the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 26, 2007, along with Alen Marcina for Joey Gjertsen and David Testo.[2] On April 9, 2008, Zé Roberto, Luke Kreamalmeyer and Leslie Fitzpatrick were signed by the Rochester Rhinos for the 2008 season.[3]

On February 17, 2009, the Rhinos announced the re-signing of Zé Roberto and striker Chris Sanders to a one-year deal with a one-year option for 2010.[4] They did not exercise the option, and signed with the San Diego Sockers in the Major Arena Soccer League at the end of the Rhinos' 2009 outdoor season. At age 41, Zé Roberto was still on the Sockers' roster in 2020, having played in 14 of 24 games during their 2018–19 season.[5]


  1. ^ "USL-1 Top 25 of the Decade". USLsoccer.com. Archived from the original on January 26, 2010. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
  2. ^ "CAPS ACQUIRE ZE ROBERTO AND MARCINA". Whitecapsfc.com. Archived from the original on September 12, 2010. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  3. ^ "Rhinos bolster squad with three". USLsoccer.com. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  4. ^ "Rochester signs Sanders Rhinos also re-sign Roberto". USLsoccer.com. Archived from the original on September 18, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
  5. ^ "#8 Defender Zé Roberto SAN DIEGO". Major Arena Soccer League. Retrieved July 17, 2020.

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