Orlando City recently improved its Brazilian contingent as the 2021 Major League Soccer season is set to begin in April.
On Saturday, a report on the club’s official website announced that Alexandre Pato joins the club on a one-year deal after terminating his contract with São Paulo last August. He will join the Lions pending the receipt of his P-1 Visa and ITC.
Pato has been without a team since August after parting ways with Sao Paulo in Brazil, where he made 20 appearances since 2019 and scored five goals.
“We are very excited to welcome Pato to Orlando. He’s a veteran player who has featured at some of the top clubs around the world and has a proven track record at the international level. The experience that Pato brings with him will be invaluable to the Club”, said Luiz Muzzi, Orlando City EVP of Soccer Operations.
The 31-year-old playmaker started out his professional career at Sport Club Internacional of Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, Brazil’s top-flight, climbing from the club’s U20 squad to the First Team in January of 2006. Since then, he has played for many top clubs, including Serie A’s AC Milan, English Premier League’s Chelsea FC and Brazil’s Sport Club Corinthians Paulista and São Paulo FC.
The experienced centre forward has won five club trophies in his career so far, including the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup and the 2007 Recopa Sudamericana with Internacional, the Italian Scudetto and the Supercoppa Italiana in 2011 with AC Milan, and a second Recopa Sudamericana in 2013 with Corinthians.
Across all competitions with his previous clubs, Pato has a total of 398 appearances, 160 goals scored and provided 48 assists to date.
Pato, whose given name is Alexandre Rodrigues da Silva, also has 10 goals in 27 appearances with the Brazilian national team, including two goals in friendlies against the United States of America (2010 and 2012).
Pato could be a great pick-up for the Lions for the money. The club could make use of another veteran attacker, who can make spot starts, come off the bench in games, and help mentors Daryl Dike and Derek Dodson.