Chester, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Union announced on Monday the club has acquired center back Steven Vitoria on a one-year loan from Portuguese club Benfica, with an option to purchase.

After loaning center back Carlos Valdes to Uruguayan side Nacional, the club had a void to fill in the center of defense and the 6-foot-5 Vitoria should fit in nicely.

"We're excited to bring Steven in and feel he is an excellent fit for the club," said Union technical director Chris Albright. "He has the ability and experience to make an instant impact for us and is a player we're expecting big things from."

"I'm thrilled with the opportunity to join Philadelphia Union," Vitoria said. "I'm ready to come in and contribute any way I can to help this club win games."

Vitoria, 28, was born and raised in Toronto, but has spent his entire professional career playing in Portugal. He represented Portugal at the youth level at the 2006 UEFA U-19 Championship and at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup.