Orlando City signed veteran Brazilian midfielder Felipe Martins, the club announced Tuesday. Martins signed a one-year contract --- with a club option for a second year --- after spending this past season with Austin FC, helping the recent expansion side to the Western Conference finals.
Martins has been in Major League Soccer since 2011, playing for five teams across the league. His most notable stint in MLS came with the New York Red Bulls, when he played a key role in midfield for one of the strongest teams in the league.
The 32-year-old has played over 300 games in MLS and provides plenty of bite in central midfield. He's known as a bit of a pest with 53 career yellow cards in the regular season. Martins still has a fair bit of technical prowess and offensive touch, with 26 goals and 36 assists in his MLS career.
Martins is the clear replacement for another veteran Brazilian, Junior Urso, who left the club this offseason. While Martins may not be the same caliber of player as Urso, he provides a similar skillset and plenty of veteran experience in a young midfield unit.
Andres Perea will likely have the first crack at replacing Urso as the fulltime starter in central midfield, but the addition of Martins adds veteran bite and usable MLS depth. Martins also has a green card and will not require an international roster slot, giving Orlando added flexibility moving into the rest of the offseason.