COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew SC today announced that it has acquired 29-year-old Portuguese midfielder Pedro Santos (pronounced: Sahn-toes), who joins Crew SC as a Designated Player via a Discovery Signing.
Santos brings 10 years of professional experience to the Black & Gold, which includes 13 Europa League appearances. Santos joins Crew SC from Sporting Clube de Braga of Primeira Liga, Portugal’s First Division. Along with Federico Higuain and Jonathan Mensah, Crew SC now has the maximum-permitted three Designated Players on its roster with Santos becoming Crew SC's sixth-ever Designated Player. This marks the first time in club history that the Black & Gold have had three Designated Players on their roster at the same time and the Santos transaction represents the club’s largest acquisition transfer fee in club history with terms not disclosed, per club policy.
Santos will officially be added to the Black & Gold roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa, also occupying an international roster spot.
The 29-year-old midfielder’s previous experience also includes playing in Primeira Liga for Vitoria Setubal and Rio Ave FC, playing in Ledman Liga Pro – Portugal’s Second Division – for Leixoes SC and playing in Liga I – Romania’s First Division – for Astra Giurgiu. To date, he has made 225 appearances (132 starts) at the club level, including appearances in the Europa League, the Cupa Romaniei – Romania’s Domestic Cup – and the Taca de Portugal, Portugal’s Domestic Cup.
“We are excited to welcome Pedro Santos to Columbus Crew SC and look forward to him making an immediate impact on this club this season,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “Pedro brings extensive tenure at a high European level and also has Europa League experience which we believe will be an asset to Crew SC and will fit well into our style of play. I want to thank [Investor-Operator and Chairman] Mr. Precourt for his continued support and investment in helping shape this roster as we make the push for the postseason and continue to compete for championships.”
►PHOTOS | CREW SC'S 3RD DP, PEDRO SANTOS
Santos made his debut with SC Braga in September of 2014. He was a regular starter throughout his time with the club, making 114 appearances (72 starts) while scoring 24 goals and providing 19 assists. Santos has recorded at least five goals and four assists in each of his last three seasons with SC Braga. In 2016, Santos scored 10 goals and provided seven assists while also helping SC Braga to the 2016 Taca de Portugal Placard. Santos played in the final, scoring a penalty kick in SC Braga’s 6-4 penalty shootout win over FC Porto on May 22.
At the European level, Santos has made 13 appearances (four starts) in the Europa League with SC Braga, notching one assist in the competition. During the 2015-2016 Europa League Santos helped SC Braga reach the quarterfinals, setting up a goal in a 4-1 home victory over Turkish side Fenerbahce SK. Santos then played the entire 90 minutes in the first leg of a quarterfinals match against FC Shakhtar Donetsk of the Ukrainian Premier League. Most recently, he made two appearances (both starts) in the 2017-2018 Europa League Qualifiers, helping SC Braga eliminate Swedish side AIK Fotboll in the Third Round Qualifiers. Santos provided the assist for the lone goal in FC Braga’s 1-1 draw on the road against AIK Fotboll on July 2, before helping his club defeat the Swedish side 2-1 at home on August 3.
⇒ FAST FACTS | Pedro Santos
Santos’ professional career began in 2007 with Casa Pia AC of Portugal’s Fourth Division. He was a member of the 2009-2010 squad that helped Casa Pia reach the Third Division. The midfielder then joined Leixoes SC of Portugal’s Second Division, where he made 50 appearances (39 starts) and scored six goals from 2010-2012. Santos spent the 2012-2013 season with Vitoria Setubal FC, where he made 34 appearances (26 starts), recording four goals and four assists.
After signing with SC Braga on July 1 of 2013, Santos was sent on loan to Astra Giurgiu of Romania’s First Division for the first half of the 2013/2014 season, making four appearances (two starts) and scoring one goal while helping the Romanian side win the 2014 Cup Romaniei. Santos spent the second half of the 2013/2014 season on loan with Rio Ave FC of Portugal’s Second Division. While with Rio Ave FC, Santos made 22 appearances (19 starts), scoring one goal.
Columbus Crew SC acquires midfielder Pedro Santos (pronounced: Sahn-toes) as a Designated Player via a Discovery Signing on August 8, 2017. He will officially be added to the Black & Gold roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa, also occupying an international roster spot.
Name: Pedro Santos (pronounced: Sahn-toes)
Born: April 22, 1988 in Lisbon, Portugal
Hometown: Lisbon, Portugal
Acquired: Acquired as a Designated Player via a Discovery Signing on August 8, 2017.
Previous Experience: Sporting Clube de Braga (2013-2017), Rio Ave FC (2014), Astra Giurgiu (2013). Vitoria Setubal FC (2012-2013), Leixoes SC (2010-2012), Casa Pia (2007-2010)