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.
25+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
- Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
- Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
- Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
- Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
- Starting price: $4.99/mo.
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
- $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
- Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
- Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family