Vancouver Whitecaps FC sign Brazilian winger Lucas Venuto


Vancouver Whitecaps FC have signed Brazilian winger Lucas Venuto, the club announced Friday.

The 24-year-old, who was signed using Targeted Allocation Money, arrives in a transfer from FC Austria Wien. He spent the last five years in the Austrian Bundesliga, scoring 26 goals in 151 total appearances with Red Bull Brasil, FC Liefering, SV Grodig and Austria Wien.

The 'Caps signed Venuto to a three-year contract through 2021, with a club option for 2022. The club acquired the first right of refusal to Venuto from New York City FC in exchange for $150,000 in General Allocation Money. He will occupy an international spot on the Vancouver roster and officially joins the roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC), work permit, visa and medical exam.

“Lucas is a very fast and dynamic winger who has a lot of energy in his game,” Whitecaps FC coach Marc Dos Santos said in a statement. “He always looks to attack, take players on, and he has an incredible work ethic on both sides of the ball. This is a player who left Brazil when he was young and was able to adapt quickly in Europe. We believe he’s a perfect fit for the way we want to play, and we are very happy to add him to our roster.”

Venuto made his professional debut in 2012 in his native Brazil with Red Bull Brasil. After two seasons in the Campeonato Paulista Serie A2, he moved to Germany to join the RB Leipzig U-19 squad.

From there, he transferred to Austria to play for 2. Liga side FC Liefering in 2014 before joining SV Grodig on loan with the move made permanent a year later.

Venuto led SV Grodig in scoring in the first half of the 2015-16 Bundesliga season before transferred to Austria Wien in January 2016. In his three years with Die Veilchen, he would compile 66 starts and 87 appearances, scoring 14 goals including UEFA Europa League and Austrian Cup competition. 

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