Things appear to have gotten better for Columbus Crew SC as they have officially signed Pedro Santos to a Designated Player deal. Santos is listed as the club's third DP; the first time in club history where Crew SC have filled all three slots.
Pedro Santos signs with Crew SC
The 29-year-old Portuguese winger comes from SC Braga with 10+ years of experience in the UEFA Europa League and Primeira Liga, Portugal's top flight.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the transaction fee for Columbus comes as the largest acquisition fee in club history. Santos will be added to the roster pending approval of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
Pedro Santos pro career
Santos began his pro career with fourth-tier team Casa Pia AC before getting promoted to second-division club Leixoes SC. He went on to play for Vitoria Setubal and Rio Ave FC in Portugal's domestic league and has also spent time in Romania's first division with Astra Giurgiu.
To this day, Santos has made 225 appearances (132 starts) at the club level.
He was a regular starter for SC Braga when he joined the club in September of 2014. He registered 24 goals and 19 assists in 114 appearances, 72 of those being starts for the Portuguese side. He has recorded a minimum of five goals and four assists in each of his last three seasons. Last year, Santos tallied up 10 goals and seven assists, while helping Braga reach the 2016 Taca de Portugal Placard.
Gregg Berhalter on Pedro Santos
Head Coach and Sporting Director Gregg Berhalter and company unveiled the new signing today at training in Obetz, Ohio.
"He's a very smart soccer player, very smart, very good technically. He'll be able to change the rhythm of the game, to slow down the game at times, to bring other players into the game," Berhalter said. "Then he has -- around [the] goal -- when you talk about making the final pass, making the final shot, he has that ability."
Santos will have to adapt to the style of play of MLS due to the fact that it's literally almost a whole new ball game.
"Obviously there is a difference and I am still getting acclimated, but if I am patient I will take to it sooner rather than later."
In light of the signing, Columbus has officially loaned defender Lalas Abubakar, and are currently shopping winger Ethan Finlay who looks to make a return to his home state of Minnesota by joining expansion side Minnesota United FC.
Columbus is back in action Saturday as they host rival Chicago Fire (7:30 pm EST | MLS Live ) in their last meeting of the regular season.