After bringing him in on trial last week, Orlando City has decided to sign 23-year-old Brazilian-Slovakian center back Dionatan Teixeira from Stoke City, reports WFTV's Christian Bruey. There are no details yet on a potential contract, but Teixeira would require an international slot.
Teixeira, however, won't be eligible to join Orlando City until the summer transfer window opens on July 4, but at least the Lions are a step ahead of the ball when it comes to adding reinforcements during the summer window.
The Brazilian-born defender signed with Stoke just before the 2014-2015 season but was forced to miss most of the season when he broke his foot shortly after signing. From there, most of his time with the club was actually spent away from the club.
He spent three months on loan with Fleetwood Town in League One this past season, making eight league appearances and two Football League Trophy starts. He returned to Stoke earlier this year and made his only appearance of the year -- his second ever -- with the club on Feb. 13, coming off the bench to play 45 minutes in a 3-1 win over Bournemouth.
So, it's really hard to say right now just how much Teixeira actually improves Orlando City outside of adding depth at a critical area after the club traded away Aurelien Collin earlier this month. We know he's young, big (at 6-foot-4),and somewhat versatile (he played in one game as a left back for Fleetwood Town), and he showed enough in his past for Stoke City to sign him. So, if he can stay healthy, there might be plenty left in the tank to help Orlando City down the stretch and possibly beyond this season.
The Lions have struggled to stay strong on the back line this season. Conor Donovan is still working his way back from ACL surgery, having finally completed 90 minutes on Sunday in OCB's 2-1 win over Rochester. Seb Hines has been dealing with a knee injury of late and currently isn't 100 percent, and the team just traded away a former MLS Cup MVP in Collin. Tommy Redding has shown glimpses of a very bright future, and David Mateos is finally back and healthy after missing the first couple months of the season with an injury.
Teixieira, at the very least, would give Adrian Heath another center back option heading into July, when things start to get very busy for Orlando City, which has six league matches in July, including, potentially, some U.S. Open Cup matches thrown in.