New Austin Bold FC signing Stefano Pinho in action for Orlando City SC in Major League Soccer during the 2018 season. | Photo courtesy Orlando City SC
AUSTIN, Texas – Austin Bold FC announced on Friday it had signed Brazilian forward Stefano Pinho ahead of the 2021 USL Championship season, pending league and federation approval. Per club policy, contract terms will not be released.
“Stefano did very well in the U.S. market before moving to Asia. Bringing him back to the United States is a great indication of the league and the strengthening U.S. market,” said Austin Head Coach Marcelo Serrano. “We’re very excited to have a player with his technical and tactical ability. His skillset to play inside and outside the box makes us happy for his addition to our organization.”
Pinho joins Austin Bold FC from Saudi club Al-Washam. The forward made an immediate impact with the Shaqraa based side, scoring six goals in eleven appearances to help the team reach the top of their group.
“I’m sure that we can do big things with the club, we have amazing players and staff,” said Pinho. “I’ll give 200% to help the club and I hope that I can score a lot of goals in this shirt.”
In 2012, Pinho joined the youth academy of Brazilian giants Fluminense. He spent the first two seasons on loan in his native Brazil at Guarantingueta in 2012 and Madureira in 2013. For the first time in his career, the striker went abroad when he was loaned to Finnish club MYPA. In the Finnish top division, Pinho impressed with eleven goals in 25 appearances. Pinho spent 2015 on loan with Fort Lauderdale Strikers. He ended the season with 17 goals and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player and Golden Boot winner.
After a season with Minnesota United FC, Pinho returned to South Florida with The Miami FC in 2017 where he again claimed Golden Boot and Most Valuable Player honors after scoring 21 netted goals. Orlando City SC added Pinho in 2018, and the Brazilian became a constant fixture in the MLS club’s lineup with 23 appearances. Pinho spent the 2019 season with China League One side Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard FC.