TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
The Seattle Sounders have signed Brazilian midfielder Joao Paulo, the club announced Friday. Paulo joins Seattle as their third Designated Player, after the club bought down Xavier Arreaga's budget charge with Targeted Allocation Money.
Paulo, 28, is a central midfielder who has spent the entirety of his career thus far in his native Brazil, most recently with Botafogo. He made 36 appearances with the club last season.
"We are pleased to announce João Paulo, a talented and versatile player that brings a lot of experience to our club," GM Garth Lagerwey said in a club statement. "His signing adds a strong piece to an already talented roster, and we're excited about the way our team is taking shape as the season approaches."
The midfielder has made more than 300 appearances across all competitions in his career thus far and is the Sounders' third DP alongside Nico Lodeiro and Raul Ruidiaz.
"João is a tactically excellent player who solves problems on the pitch, while his passing and set-piece service will help us be even more goal dangerous," sporting director Chris Henderson said. "I had the opportunity to meet João in Brazil and witness first-hand his professionalism and character, which fit exactly what we stand for in Seattle. On top of that, he's a former captain who brings experience and leadership to our squad."
The Sounders kick off their 2020 season on February 20 against Olimpia in the Concacaf Champions League. The reigning MLS Cup champs have had a quiet start to their offseason by way of additions, as Paulo is just the club's third acquisition of the winter.