BY SPNW Staff 01:07PM 03/06/2014

Sounders add young midfielder from Brazil

Midfielder Fabio Pereira, a native of Brazil who starred at the University of Michigan and was drafted by the Sounders and practiced this preseason, was signed by the club Thursday. His addition to the roster is pending receipt of his visa.

Pereira, 22, was the 77th overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. In the preseason, he had four appearances, including two starts and two goals.

At Michigan, he ranked second in school history with 22 assists, starting 66 of his 79 appearances. A native of Sao Paulo Pereira relocated to the U.S. in high school.

“Fabio is a young player who is skillful and has a nose for goal coming out of the midfield,” said coach Sigi Schmid said in a club statement.  “He has good vision and desire. We are excited to add Fabio to our mix.”

Pereira is the second player this week signed out of preseason, joining Mexican World Cup veteran Gonzalo Pineda, 31, also a midfielder. Pineda and Pereira are the fifth and sixth of of the MLS-maximum seven international players allowed. They join Obafemi Martins, Marco Pappa, Djimi Traore and Damion Lowe.

Team superstar Clint Dempsey, who spent January and February on loan to Fulham of the EPL before a 90-minute appearance Wednesday with the U.S. Men’s National Team in a friendly against Ukraine in Cyprus, is expected to return to Seattle Friday. It’s not known yet if he’ll be fit enough to play in the season opener Saturday at the Clink against Kansas City.


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