Orlando City

Welcome, Rafa! Inside Rafael Santos' arrival to Orlando City


Welcome home, Rafael Santos.

The Brazilian defender, signed by Orlando City in January from Brazilian Série A side Cruzeiro, got an up-close look at his new home at Exploria Stadium this weekend, donning purple for the first time.

The 25-year-old Santos joined his new teammates at preseason training last week and will wear No. 3 for the Lions after inking a two-year contract with options for 2025 and 2026.

“Rafael is a technically gifted left back, has great touch on the ball, and creates danger in the attacking third with his crossing and set piece abilities,” Orlando City VP of soccer operations and general manager Luiz Muzzi said in Santos' announcement last month.

“He brings experience from the first division in Brazil and is someone we expect to provide competition in that position within our team.”

Here are more of our favorite shots of Santos in the Sunshine Kit from team photographer Mark Thor: