Toronto FC confirms signing of Venezuelan international winger Yeferson Soteldo

·2 min read

Toronto FC has confirmed the signing of Venezuelan international winger Yeferson Soteldo as its third designated player.

Brazil's Santos FC said goodbye to the 23-year-old on Saturday, putting out a news release saying it had sold Soteldo to the MLS club. But Toronto did not confirm the signing until Monday.

Several sources said Saturday that Major League Soccer and TFC finalized the transfer deal with Santos on Friday night. One source said the parties were working on concluding personal terms with the player.

The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because the acquisition had not been made public yet.

The five-foot-three Soteldo wore the same No. 10 that Brazilian legend Pele had at Santos.

An elusive winger who likes to take on defenders and befuddle them with his moves, Soteldo can make goals and score them. He had 20 goals in 104 games for Santos.

He was named to the 2020 Copa Libertadores team of the tournament — along with the likes of Carlos Tevez of Boca Juniors — as Santos made it to the final before losing 1-0 to Brazilian rival Palmeiras.

River Plate forward Rafael Santos Borre, an earlier transfer target of TFC, was also named to the team of the tournament.

Soteldo joins striker Jozy Altidore and Spanish playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo as Toronto's designated players.

He fills the DP spot left by Argentina's Pablo Piatti, whose option was not picked up by the MLS club after last season. Piatti now plays for Elche FC in Spain.

Soteldo made his first-team debut with Venezuela's Zamora FC in September 2013 when he was 16. He moved to Chile's Huachipato in December 2016 and went on to spend 2018 with Universidad de Chile on loan.

In January 2018, he was transferred to Santos. The Brazilian club said Huachipato will receive a portion of the MLS transfer fee.

A former Venezuelan youth international, Soteldo has 17 caps and one goal with the senior side.


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This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 26, 2021.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press