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LAFC sign Andre Horta as a designated player

Release does not specify when he will join team.

SL Benfica v Vitoria Setubal - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

Los Angeles Football Club have signed their third designated player, and are continuing their youth policy in the process.

The team announced they have signed midfielder Andre Horta on Tuesday. Notably, the team did not specify one way or the other if Horta will arrive in the current transfer window, which closes on May 1, or if he won’t be eligible until the secondary window opens on July 10, as he is currently on a loan with Braga for the season, which ends in mid-May.

“André is a player we identified quite some time ago as someone we felt would be the right fit for LAFC,” said LAFC EVP of soccer operations and general manager John Thorrington in a team statement. “We are grateful for the support of ownership, and the acquisition of Andre 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, 21, has spent his entire career to date in his native Portugal. Getting his professional debut at Vitoria Setubal in 2014 in the Primeira Liga, he joined Portuguese powerhouse Benfica in 2016, getting a handful of appearances in league and Champions League play as they won a league-cup double that season.

This season, he went on loan to fellow first-division side Braga, where he played in the Europa League as well as league and domestic cup competitions.

Horta is a Portuguese youth international, having played at the U-18, U-19, U-20 and U-21 levels. He’s played in two European U-21 Championships and one at the U-19 level.

A versatile central midfielder, Horta has played as a playmaker as well as a box-to-box midfielder in Portugal. While capable of scoring goals on occasion, he has performed as more of a set-up man in his career to date, assisting teammates or progressing the attack to get in a position to score.

Horta’s signing gets LAFC’s roster up to 24 players officially, which is a nice benchmark with the potential to add as many as six more players over the course of the season. Will we see more reinforcements, perhaps another TAM signing or two, in 2018? Stay tuned.

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