Whitecaps extend midfielder Caio Alexandre's loan to Brazilian team for a year

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps have extended midfielder Caio Alexandre’s loan to Fortaleza EC for another year, with an obligation for the Brazilian side to purchase his contract if he hits undisclosed performance benchmarks.

The loan agreement, which was originally set to end at the end of the year, now runs through Dec. 31, 2023. Alexandre originally joined Fortaleza on loan last August.

The 23-year-old scored a goal and started 11 of his 12 appearances with Fortaleza last season, helping the side secure a spot in the 2023 Copa Libertadores qualifiers.

Prior to joining Fortaleza, the native of Duque de Caxias, Brazil, made five appearances across all competitions for the Whitecaps in 2022 after recovering from a fifth metatarsal fracture in his left foot and a left-hand fracture.

In 2021, the midfielder started 11 of his 15 appearances across all competitions for Vancouver, recording one assist.

“Caio expressed his desire to remain with Fortaleza and all parties agreed that this is the right path for him,” Whitecaps sporting director Axel Schuster said in a release. “We will continue to follow his progress and we wish him all the best in the upcoming season.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 28, 2022.

The Canadian Press