Montreal bolster midfield with Brazilian Felipe Martins

The Montreal Impact made another splash into the international market on Wednesday, announcing the signing of Brazilian midfielder Felipe Martins.

The 21-year-old joins the MLS expansion side from the Swiss second division, where he was most recently on loan to FC Wohlen from league rivals FC Lugano. During his three seasons with Lugano, Martins played in 50 games (32 as a starter) and added seven goals.

He also spent time with Italian club Calcio Padova – the onetime home of former US international Alexi Lalas. He joined the club, then in Italy's third division, as a 17-year-old after coming through the youth ranks of various Brazilian clubs, including PSTC Londrina, Atlético Catarinense and Campo Grande of Rio de Janeiro.

“Felipe is a player who has established himself as a very good young player in Europe and we believe he is ready to challenge himself in a top league like MLS,” Impact head coach Jesse Marsch said in a statement. “He is a very versatile, clever and sharp midfielder and we are extremely pleased to add him to our team for 2012.”

Martins becomes the 23rd player signed to Montreal’s 2012 roster. The Impact added Quebec native and Canadian national team midfielder Patrice Bernier on Monday.