As The Mane Land reported on Jan. 10, Orlando City SC has signed 23-year-old Brazilian Ruan Teixeira. The defender was brought to Major League Soccer on a one-year contract with the Lions. Right back was an area of need for Orlando following the departure of Scott Sutter after the 2018 season.
“We are very excited to welcome Ruan to Orlando City. He is a dependable right back that has excellent speed and is dangerous in his transition on the offensive side of the ball,” said Orlando City SC EVP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi. “As a Club we continue to provide depth on our roster and build competition within the group as we head into our 2019 preseason.”
Although sources close to the situation originally informed The Mane Land that Ruan’s contract would be a loan year with an option to extend, the club release simply calls it a one-year contract. An Orlando City spokesman has confirmed to The Mane Land that it is a standard signing and not a loan deal.
The 5-foot-7 Ruan, whose transfer rights belonged to Rio de Janeiro side Barra da Tijuca FC, has been a journeyman in his professional career, having played for as many as four different clubs in Brazil since 2016, always on loan contracts.
He started last season with Serie A team Internacional SC, but moved to second-tier club Associação Atlética Ponte Preta in May. He played in 17 matches (360 minutes) for Ponte Preta in the Brazilian Serie B, but his loan expired at the end of the year and he returned to Barra da Tijuca. In 2015, he played with former Lion Victor ‘PC’ Giro in the Corinthians’ academy system.
What It Means for Orlando
Ruan is known in Brazil for his pace and his offensive power. He has the ability to cover a lot of ground and is expected to add more intensity to the Lions on the right side of the field. He can also play on the left if needed.
The Brazilian will be one of three right backs Head Coach James O’Connor will have on the roster for 2019, joining returning veteran RJ Allen and recently signed Kyle Smith, who comes from O’Connor’s former club, USL side Louisville City FC. Ruan will provide a pacey replacement for Sutter in a position that needs a clear-cut starter for 2019.