Orlando City sign Brazilian striker Julio Baptista

Julio Baptista

Orlando City has dipped into the Brazilian player market once more as attacking midfielder Julio Baptista has joined the club.

Baptista had been training with the Lions in early March as he sought out a new team. The 34-year-old has been out of contract since December after his deal with Brazilian side Cruzeiro Esporte Club expired.

Baptista had played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe before returning to Brazil in the summer of 2013. Sevilla, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Roma and Malaga were all stops for Baptista during his European sojourn. While in Europe, Baptista tallied 95 goals in 295 matches, making him a much sought out player. His best stint during that time came with Sevilla between 2003 and 2005 when he netted 43 times for the La Liga club.

According to The Mane Land, Orlando City already have 12 international players for their allocated ten international roster spots, per MLS policy. Therefore, the team will be clearing some space in the coming days with the suggestion that former Sporting KC center-back Aurelien Collin may be the man to make way. However, that is purely speculation at this point.

Baptista’s friend and former teammate Kaka tweeted about the move, writing, “Another life and career moment that we’ll course together!”

Orlando City have obtained five points from a possible nine, and are yet to lose in 2016. However the team has managed just four goals in their opening three fixtures with three coming from star striker Cyle Larin.

Baptista will give the club more options behind Larin and can even slot in as a striker to partner the Canadian. The signing of the Brazilian will also add more depth to a midfield that was short on goals a season ago. Known for his long shots and one-two passing combinations, Baptista gives Orlando City manager Adrian Heath more options to play on either side of Larin in the 4-3-3 he has favoured this season.

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One Response

  1. Jay C March 24, 2016

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