Alexandre Pato signs with Orlando City for the 2022 MLS season

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Orlando City have re-signed Brazilian forward Alexandre Pato to a new contract through the 2022 MLS season.

The 32-year-old joined the Lions before the start of last season but suffered an early knee injury and was limited to just five appearances, without finding the net.

But Pato clearly did enough to impress at the reception and coaching staff at Exploria Stadium and he will now stay in Florida for another year.

“Pato’s ability is proven and we know the untapped potential of what he can bring to our team,” said general manager and vice president of football operations Luiz Muzzi in a press release from the club.

“He has worked hard to return to top form and we look forward to a successful year for the club. We are delighted that he will return and play an important role both on the pitch and in the locker room this season.”

Pato added via his official Twitter page: “A new year, a new goal! After a year of much learning and overcoming. We will go together again!”

A new year, a new goal! After a year of much learning and overhaul. We have new juntos! One year ago Deus came back from the past year.Vamos @orlandocitysc! Let’s go Lion! Family Duck ?? ?? pic.twitter.com/bfrQ9yDOXK

– PATO (@Pato) January 15, 2022

If he can stay in shape, Pato will add an incredible pedigree to Oscar Pareja’s forward line. In addition to his 27 international appearances and 10 goals for Brazil, the striker has had spells with AC Milan, Villarreal and Chelsea, as well as Internacional, Corinthians and Sao Paulo in his home country.

That said, there will be even more pressure on Pato to avoid injury and deliver the goals after Orlando City sold striker Daryl Dike to West Bromwich Albion and forward Chris Mueller joined Scottish Hibernian on a free transfer.

The Lions host CF Montreal on February 27 in their first match of the 2022 MLS season.

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