MLS expansion team St. Louis CITY SC have signed their first-ever Designated player, adding forward João Klauss to the roster.
He will join St. Louis in July 2022 on a three-and-a-half-year deal with an additional option year. The Brazilian is currently on loan at Sint-Truidense V.V in Belgium from German Bundesliga club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
The player has previously worked with the team’s staff, joining Hoffenheim when STL CITY sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel worked at the club.
“Klauss is a player I have known since a very young age and I continued following his career,” Pfannenstiel said in a release. “In fact, Hoffenheim director of football Alexander Rosen and I played a major role in bringing him to Germany when I was at Hoffenheim.
"He has tremendous capacity to score and create chances for his teammates. Those attributes will surely help our team. His prime is ahead of him, and we are excited to help him maximize his potential.”
Klauss recorded 10 first-team appearances for Hoffenheim, before spending most of his career on loan.
He’s had stints at Finnish top-flight club HJK Helsinki, Austrian club Linzer ASK, Standard Liège and Sint-Truidense V.V.
“As a coach, it’s always good to have a quality striker on your team and Klauss is a player that is also willing to do the dirty work defensively,” STL CITY head coach Bradley Carnell said in a release. “We are excited to welcome Klauss to St. Louis and help make this city his home.”
This is the expansion team’s third signing, after adding left back Selmir Pidro and Tomas Ostrak to the squad.
St. Louis CITY SC is set to become the American league’s 29th team in 2023.