The Black and Red have signed Brazilian Serie A striker, Rafael from Brazilian side Bahia. DC United, since their offloading of Maicon Santos, have picked up another Brazilian who's made 36 appearances thus far, tallying 10 goals to his name. The 20 year old Rafael will serve in the ranks for DC United, as their "designated player" on loan from Bahia for one year.
The Brazilian connection continues to increase under manager, Ben Olsen, as he already sports two other Brazilian's in his squad-Marcelo Saragosa and Raphael Augusto. Saragosa was pivotal in DC United's success down the stretch as United entered the playoffs full-steam ahead. On the other hand, Augusto was highly unused for a majority of the season and only saw action in the playoffs when DC experienced mass injuries to Chris Pontius, Chris Korb, and Dwayne De Rosario plagued their playoff run.
Rafael's move to the MLS looks promising. Rafael is quick on the ball, and his movement is excellent for a 20 year old. Having played in the Brazilian Serie A, amongst some of the biggest up and coming talents, Rafael has held his own-his 10 goals speak volumes. Rafael Suaza's talent is exceptional, having recently appeared in the Pan American Games, for Brazil U-20. This move to the MLS will provide Suaza room to grow as a player. After not receiving regular minutes at his current club, Ben Olsen believes his new Designated Player will offer a scoring threat to help see DC United enter the playoffs for the second season in a row. Rafael, however, will have to work for his minutes as Lionard Pajoy has since come onto the scene and proven he is the number one striker that DC currently have, but with proper training and working alongside Pajoy, Rafael may just be Ben Olsen's #1 as the season progresses.
(image courtesy of campeosdabola.com.br)