Transfer Tracker

Seattle Sounders sign midfielder Joao Paulo from Botafogo on permanent transfer

Joao Paulo - Seattle Sounders - dribbling away


The Seattle Sounders have completed the permanent signing of midfielder Joao Paulo from Brazilian club Botafogo, the club announced Thursday. Paulo spent 2020 on loan in Seattle. 

He will occupy a Designated Player spot. 

Paulo, 29,  had two goals and five assists in 19 matches (17 starts) with the Sounders. He played more as a deep-lying playmaker than an attacking midfielder with the Sounders. 

“I am pleased to bring a player of João Paulo’s caliber back to Seattle after an impressive first season,” GM & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said in a club statement. “He’s a player who brings a lot of positive things to our squad, on and off the field. We feel confident that JP, Nico Lodeiro and Raúl Ruidíaz filling our Designated Player slots puts us in a good position to win in 2021.”

Paulo had spent the entirety of his career in his native Brazil prior to joining the Sounders. He made 125 appearances in Brazil's top flight, spending three seasons with Botafogo. He's made more than 15 appearances in Copa Libertadores, one of the world's premier club competitions. 

“João Paulo is a skilled, composed player who was integral to our success last season,” said Brian Schmetzer. “I’m pleased to have him back on the pitch with us in 2021 and look forward to what he can help us accomplish.”

Paulo, Nico Lodeiro and Raul Ruidiaz occupy the club's three DP spots. It's a transformative winter for Seattle, with Gustav Svensson and Kelvin Leerdam still not under contract for 2021 while Jordan Morris is reportedly finalizing a move to Swansea City.