North Carolina FC has signed Brazilian playmaker Rodrigo da Costa to a two-year contract, with the 29-year-old having recorded 48 goals and 28 assists in the USL Championship in his career. | Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC
CARY, N.C. – North Carolina FC announced on Thursday it had signed attacking midfielder Rodrigo da Costa to a two-year contract through the 2025 USL Championship season. The transaction is pending league and federation approval.
The 29-year-old Brazilian has recorded 48 goals and 28 assists in the USL Championship’s regular season and playoffs, making 151 appearances and logging 12,419 minutes. Da Costa began his career in the Championship with FC Tulsa in the 2019 season, and became the club’s all-time goalscoring leader with 36 goals in the Championship before his transfer to Memphis 901 FC midway through the 2023 season.
With Memphis, Da Costa recorded 12 goals and three assists in 25 appearances, helping the side advance to the 2023 USL Championship Playoffs.
“Rodrigo is a proven playmaker in this league, and we’re thrilled to add him to our attacking group,” said NCFC Head Coach and Sporting Director John Bradford. “He’s performed at a high level in the USL Championship for a long time and he will be a great fit for what we want to do in the attack. We’re delighted that he and his wife Chelsea believe in what we’re building here and have chosen to make the Triangle home.”
“I am really excited with this opportunity to represent NCFC,” said da Costa. “I only hear good things about the club and the city, so I can’t wait to get to work. I believe in the mission of the club and vision of the coaching staff, so this was an easy decision.”
Rodrigo da Costa’s arrival as North Carolina FC’s first new signing ahead of the club’s return to the USL Championship is a major one, with the Brazilian having been one of the most consistent attacking players in the league over the past five seasons. Da Costa ranks just outside the Top 25 all-time in goal contributions in the Championship’s history going into the 2024 season with 76 combined goals and assists and sits at No. 5 since his arrival in the league in 2019.
Da Costa’s versatility will make him a valuable piece for North Carolina, which is already returning its three leading goalscorers in Oalex Anderson, Rafa Menzingen and Garrett McLaughlin from its 2023 USL League One title winning campaign. As good a finisher as Da Costa has been, he’s been adept at creating as well. His 253 Chances Created rank sixth in the league across the regular season and playoffs, which should provide plenty for Anderson and McLaughlin to work with when the trio are on the field together.