Orlando City sign free agent midfielder Felipe Martins

Orlando City have bolstered their midfield with the signing of free agent Felipe Martins, the club announced Tuesday.

Martins joins on a one-year contract, with Orlando holding the option to extend his deal through the 2024 MLS season.

The 32-year-old spent the 2022 campaign with Austin FC, notching one goal and three assists in 28 appearances (5 starts) as the Verde and Black finished second in the Western Conference.

“Felipe is a player that we have watched and respected for a while. As an 11-year veteran of our league, he will bring needed and valuable depth, as well as important experience from his time in both MLS and at international clubs,”  Luiz Muzzi, Orlando City’s executive vice president of soccer operations and general manager, said in a club press release.

“Getting a player with Felipe’s skillset and leadership both on and off the pitch is an important step toward our 2023 goals and we’re excited to have him with us in Orlando this season.”

Orlando become Martins’ sixth MLS team, with the Brazilian having also enjoyed spells with DC United, the Vancouver Whitecaps, New York Red Bulls, and CF Montreal.

Martins won the 2015 Supporters’ Shield with the Red Bulls, while he also lifted two Canadian Championships in Montreal. His arrival will offer vital experience and depth to the Orlando midfield ranks following the shock departure of Junior Urso.

The Lions finished seventh in the Eastern Conference last season before crashing out of the MLS Cup Playoffs in the first round. However, they have qualified for the Concacaf Champions League for the first time after lifting the US Open Cup.

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