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LAFC signs 21-year-old midfielder André Horta

After several days of rumors, it’s finally confirmed — Portuguese midfielder André Horta is officially the newest member of LAFC.

The 21-year-old will bolster a midfield that stood as the biggest question mark for the young club at the season’s start. This is the program’s second addition in the last week, as the team picked up another young player in Shaft Brewer, Jr. last Wednesday. 

“André is a technically gifted player with enormous versatility,” head coach Bob Bradley said. “He is young and dynamic, and with his experience in Portugal we believe he will continue to develop into a top-class player.”

Rumors began to swirl following a report on Saturday that claimed that Horta had signed a multi-season designated player contract worth just over $1 million. The team announced the acquisition when Horta posted the news himself on Twitter on Tuesday.

Horta is LAFC’s third designated player after Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi, meaning that he is the final DP that the club can sign. After the early success of Vela and Rossi — who notched a combined four goals and five assists over the first two games of MLS play — he’ll have big shoes to fill as he joins the team.

“André is a player we identified quite some time ago as someone we felt would be the right fit for LAFC,” General Manager John Thorrington said. “We are grateful for the support of ownership, and the acquisition of André is yet another statement of the type of club and team we are building. It is rare, if not unprecedented, for a player of his age, pedigree, and options to join MLS, and we know he will make our city and fans proud.”

Horta started his professional career with Portuguese club Vitoria Setubal, making 43 appearances and scoring two goals in two seasons with the club. He made the move to S.L. Benfica last year, where he made 22 appearances in league and cup games and tallied one goal and one assist, helping the team to notch Premier League, Cup of Portugal and Super Cup victories. He joined S.C. Braga last August on a season-long loan, notching one goal and six assists.

Horta has also made a combined 22 appearances for the Portuguese U-18, U-19, U-20 and U-21 teams. He picked up his first international goal in a friendly against the Japanese U-23 team in 2016, and his second in a 4-2 victory over Switzerland’s U-21 squad last year. His older brother, Ricardo, also competes professionally, and the brothers played side-by-side during André’s stint with Braga.

 

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