Orlando City SC Sign Alexandre Pato on a One-Year Deal

Alexandre Pato will be kickin’ it up in Central Florida…

The 31-year-old Brazilian professional footballer and former AC Milan forward is set to join Orlando City SC, according to ESPN.

Alexandre Pato

The Lions teased the signing with a pair of Tweets on Friday containing a picture of a duck. (Pato means “duck” in Portuguese.) An announcement could come as soon as this weekend.

Sources say Pato has signed a one-year deal and will not be a Designated Player.

His salary will be brought down with General Allocation Money and includes an option for an additional year. Orlando recently sent striker Daryl Dike on loan to English Championship side Barnsley.

The Mane Land were among the first outlets who reported the Pato deal.

Pato’s lengthy club career includes stints at AC Milan, Chelsea and Villarreal, as well several Brazilian teams and Chinese club Tianjin Tianhai. He was most recently on the books of Sao Paulo, his second stint with the club, and one where he scored nine goals in 35 league and cup appearances. But he has been without a team since he and Sao Paulo reached an agreement in August of 2020 to terminate his contract.

His most successful spell at club level came with AC Milan, where he played from 2007-13. In that time he scored 63 goals in 140 league and cup appearances, and helped the side to a Serie A title in 2010-11 and the Supercoppa Italiana in 2011.

Pato is an ex-Brazil international, scoring 10 goals in 27 appearances, the last of which came in 2013.

Pato is the latest Brazilian star to join Orlando, the club where ex-Milan and Real Madrid midfielder Kaka played from 2014-17. There are currently four other Brazilians currently on the team’s roster in Junior Urso, RuanAntonio Carlos and Matteus Aias.

Sebastian Soto Signs with Norwich City

Sebastian Soto is switching sides… 

The 20-year-old Chilean and Mexican American youth international soccer player has completed his move to English Championship side Norwich City, the club has revealed.

Sebastian Soto

Soto arrives on a free transfer, signing a three-year deal plus an option of another year after his contract with 2.Bundesliga side Hannover 96 expired. 

As Soto’s application for a work permit was denied, he’ll be forced to go out on loan for the first year of the deal, with a move to Dutch Eerste Divisie side Telstar among the possibilities.

“It’s a proud feeling. It’s super exciting to join Norwich City,” Soto said.

“The facilities here are really impressive. From the minute I arrived here, it’s given me a lot of excitement.

“Being a young player, it’s nice to hear that the head coach gives us a chance. It was a big factor in me moving here.

“I’m striker that loves scoring goals. I love being part of a good team that plays good football.”

Soto made five first team appearances for Hannover, and much was expected following an impressive set of performances for the U.S. Under-20 side at least year’s FIFA U20 World Cup.

But once it became apparent that Soto wouldn’t sign a new deal with Hannover, his place in the first team was compromised with injuries and overall competition for places also playing a part.

Norwich was recently relegated from the Premier League, but if Soto makes the most of his loan move, it could be a case of good timing. 

Top scorer Teemu Pukki will be 31 by the time Soto’s presumptive loan would end, which might put the American in a better position to contend for a starting spot. The club did recently sign 23-year-old Luxembourg forward Danel Sinani.

Employment regulations will change when the UK leaves the European Union in January 2021, making it easier for Soto to get a work permit.

Soto signed with Hannover in 2018 after rising through the youth system at MLS side Real Salt Lake. He made a positive first impression at Hannover, scoring 17 goals in 24 appearances with Hannover’s U19 team during the 2018-19 season. He made his first team debut later in that campaign.