Transfer Tracker

Austin FC sign midfielder Felipe Martins in free agency


Austin FC have signed free-agent midfielder Felipe Martins for the 2022 MLS season with an option for 2023, the club announced Monday.

The 31-year-old Brazilian has competed in MLS since 2012 and gives the Verde & Black another veteran signing this offseason after they previously landed winger Ethan Finlay and forward Maxi Urruti in free agency.

He’s a US citizen and won’t occupy an international roster slot.

“Felipe is a natural leader with a competitive spirit that will have a really positive impact on our team,” sporting director Claudio Reyna said in a release. “His work in preseason has been great and we know he’ll be a strong addition to our club culture as we continue to grow and improve.”

Martins has 25 goals and 54 assists across 283 regular-season games, giving him the most MLS experience on Austin’s roster.

The second-year side becomes Martins’ fifth MLS club after previous stops at CF Montréal, New York Red Bulls, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and most recently D.C. United.

“I want to thank everyone at Austin FC, especially Claudio, Josh [Wolff] and the rest of the technical staff – some of whom I’ve had the great pleasure to play with over the years,” Martins said in a release. “Austin have a clear objective which is bring an MLS Cup to this city that lives and breathes soccer. But to get there we need to show up every day and prove ourselves.

“Everything I’ve seen, from the training facility, to the stadium, to the way we train and work is rare and inspiring. We have no excuse to not succeed and we need to give everything we have. I’m here to help us get to where we want to be and to play and represent this team and this community in the best way possible. It’s important to make everyone that supports Austin FC proud.”

Prior to moving to MLS in 2012, Martins played his first seasons as a professional in Italy and Switzerland with Calcio Padova, FC Winterthur, FC Lugano and FC Wohlen.