Toronto FC in late April announced the signing of Venezuelan international midfielder/forward Yeferson Soteldo from Brazilian club Santos FC (Santos) as the club’s third Designated Player through 2025. He will be added to the roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC), work permit, as well as completion of a successful physical.
“I am very excited to come to Toronto FC. It is one of the most important sports organizations in Canada and the United States,” said Soteldo. “It is an MLS Cup champion, has great players, and most importantly, they are always competing to win. They have amazing fans and facilities.”
Soteldo, 23, made 104 appearances for Santos, scoring 20 goals and adding 17 assists since joining the club in January 2019. He made his first appearance and scored his first goal on his debut when he came off the bench against Sãn Bento on January 24, 2019. Last season, Soteldo was named to the 2020 Conmebol Copa Libertadores Best XI, and made the 2020 Team of the Year in the Campeonato Paulista (São Paulo’s premier state championship). During his time with Santos, Soteldo was given the historic number 10 shirt, worn by Santos’ legendary player Pele.
“We are very excited for Yeferson to join our club. He is a dynamic, exciting, fearless player who will immediately improve our already strong roster,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning. “He checks the boxes of what we were looking for in a DP, an attacking player who adds a different dimension to our side, and I think our fans will be excited to see him in a TFC uniform.”
Soteldo began his career in his native Venezuela, at Zamora Fútbol Club (Zamora). He made his professional debut at the age of 16 when he came off the bench in a 0–0 home draw against Atlético Venezuela. He made 99 appearances, scoring 24 goals and adding 29 assists for Zamora in all competitions (Primera Division, Copa Venezuela, Conmebol Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana). With Zamora, Soteldo won Venezuelan League titles (2014, 2015 and 2016). In December 2016, Soteldo moved to Chile, signing with Club Deportivo Huachipato (Primera Division, Chile), where he appeared in 29 matches and registered six goals and nine assists. In 2018, was loaned to Universidad de Chile, where he made 37 appearances scored seven goals and added nine assists.
“We are excited for Yeferson to join the team and integrate himself within our environment. He is an exciting player and he will help our team. Very happy and grateful that our board supports this team in a way where we are able to find and acquire a player of his caliber,” said Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis. “Yeferson is a difference maker. We will wrap our arms around he and his family, such that Yeferson can enjoy his football, teammates, and the new environment.”
Soteldo has earned 19 caps for the Venezuela National team during his career. He made his senior national team debut before being called up to the U-20 side in a friendly match against Costa Rica on February 2, 2016. Soteldo represented Venezuela at the youth level and was a part of the historic U-20 team that finished runners-up at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2017.
“I want to get there as soon as possible and start working with my teammates. I want to show my commitment and what I bring to the game,” said Soteldo. “In the meantime, I want to wish the team all the best in the next Concacaf Champions League game against Cruz Azul.”
TRANSACTION: Toronto FC signed midfielder/forward Yeferson Soteldo as a Designated Player.
YEFERSON SOTELDO – # 30
Weight: 121 lbs.
Birthdate: June 30, 1997 (Age – 23)
Birthplace: Acarigua, Venezuela
Last Club: Santos FC
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