NEW YORK – New York City FC Saturday announced it had acquired forward Thiago Andrade from Brazilian side EC Bahia via a permanent transfer contract through 2024 with an option for the 2025 season.
The 20-year-old will join NYCFC pending the receipt of a P-1 visa.
“I feel so happy to be able to sign with a big club like New York City FC,” Thiago said in a statement. “For me it is a very interesting club to be a part of because of the City Football Group. It’s an important place to be for my career and growth in football.
“I’m excited to be able to live in and know the city and a different culture. To the NYCFC fans, there will be no lack of desire and determination and I am proud to wear this shirt.”
A native of Araras, São Paulo, Thiago was the leading scorer in Brazil’s Under-20 competition for Bahia’s youth side before breaking into their senior squad earlier this year.
“We’re delighted to acquire Thiago who has shown to be an exciting talent at the youth levels in Brazil,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said in a statement. “The Brasileirão is one of the most challenging leagues in the world and to break into the starting XI at 20-years-old is evidence of his development in recent months.
“We wanted to add quality and depth to our attack and Thiago is a versatile player that can help us in multiple positions. He’s still very young and will need to continue to develop as a footballer, but we’re excited for that to happen here at NYCFC, and we believe his potential is very high.”
The 5-11, 150-lb. Thiago began his career in the Fluminense academy before spending six months in Portugal with Portimonense. Since returning to Brazil and making his debut in the Brasileirão with Bahia in early January 2021, Thiago has scored one goal and added one assist in 516 minutes in Brazil’s topflight.
“Thiago is a young and talented winger with a lot of pace who likes to take on defenders 1 v 1,” head coach Ronny Deila said in a statement. “He adds a quick, direct threat to our attack who can run in behind the defense and cause a lot of problems for our opponents. We’re excited to welcome him to New York and look forward to him joining the team in the coming weeks.”
Thiago will travel to New York upon receipt of his P-1 visa and will be eligible to begin individual training upon arrival. He will then be able to join the full team in training after completing a mandatory quarantine in line with MLS COVID-19 protocols.