TRANSFER_16x9-Felipe_Martins

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing

Orlando City SC have signed free agent midfielder Felipe Martins to a one-year contract with an option for 2024, the club announced Tuesday morning.

The 32-year-old Brazilian veteran spent the 2022 season with Austin FC, making five starts in 28 appearances. He registered one goal and three assists in 718 minutes for the Western Conference finalists.

“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's EVP of soccer operations and general manager, said in a statement.

“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.”

Martins is joining his sixth MLS team after previous stops at Austin, D.C. United, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, New York Red Bulls and CF Montréal, where he broke into the league in 2012.

Martins has appeared in 454 professional matches across all competitions, scoring 44 goals and providing 39 assists throughout his career. He holds a green card and will not occupy an international spot.

The signing helps strengthen Orlando's central midfield after Junior Urso and the club mutually agreed to terminate his contract. Cesar Araujo, Wilder Cartagena and Andres Perea will be other key pieces for 2023 as the US Open Cup champions head into their first Concacaf Champions League.