ORLANDO, Fla. (April 14, 2017) - Orlando City SC acquires defender Léo Pereira on a season-long loan from Orlando City B, the Club’s United Soccer League (USL) affiliate. Pereira was previously with OCB on loan from Clube Atlético Paranaense, City's official Brazilian partner club. Pereira occupies an international roster spot.
“We were very impressed with what we saw from Léo when we scouted him in Brazil and what he’s shown us in his time in Orlando,” Lions General Manager Niki Budalic said. “Léo is a promising defender with good size and a high soccer IQ. We’re excited to have him move up to the MLS roster. This is a great example of the things we can accomplish through our partnership with Atlético Paranaense.”
Pereira becomes the fourth player to graduate from OCB to the First Team, joining Mikey Ambrose, Tony Rocha and Pierre Da Silva. He was also the first player moved between Orlando City and Paranaense since the formal partnership was announced in November 2016.
Pereira played in three games with OCB, making his debut at left back on March 30 against Louisville City FC. Pereira drew praise from OCB head coach Anthony Pulis for his play at center back on April 4 and 8 against Toronto FC II and Charlotte Independence, respectively.
The 21-year-old joined the Club on March 14 after playing most of the 2016 Série B season with Clube Náutico Capibaribe. Pereira made five appearances for Capibaribe while on loan from Paranaense. In 2015, Pereira made eight appearances with Brazilian side Guaratinguetá while on loan from Paranaense.
The Curitiba, Brazil, native joined hometown club Paranaense’s heralded Academy in 2010. Pereira has made 23 starts among 32 appearances for the Furacão since 2013 and has also played defensive midfielder.
Pereira has also featured for Brazil youth national teams. The 6-foot-1 defender scored one goal in five starts for the Brazil at the 2015 U-20 South American Championship and scored one goal in three appearances in Brazil’s run to the FIFA U-20 World Cup Final later that year.
TRANSACTION: Orlando City acquires Léo Pereira on season-long loan from Orlando City B.
Name: Léonardo Pereira
Weight: 168 lbs.
Birth Date: Jan. 31, 1996
Birthplace: Curitiba, Brazil