Columbus Crew SC officially announced the season-long loan of Brazilian midfielder Artur de Lima Junior, better known as simply Artur, from Sao Paulo FC on Monday morning.
“Artur is a young, dynamic player who was a key contributor to a Sao Paulo FC program that is one of the most decorated in South America, winning trophies at the state, national and confederation level,” head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter said in the press release. “We are looking forward his transition to Major League Soccer and expect him to be able to contribute on the field immediately.”
The 20-year old Artur was promoted from to Sao Paulo’s first team last year, making four appearances, three starts, during the 2016 season.
While with the Under-20s, Artur won the Copa Libertadores, the Copa do Brasil (twice), the Campeonato Paulista and the Copa RS.
Before his time with Sao Paulo, Artur was with Esporte Clube Bahia’s U-19s, a club he joined at the age of 16, where he won the U-17 Metropolitan Cup and the U-18 Bahia Championship in 2014.
“I’m very excited to go to Columbus,” Artur said in the press release. “I want to go and become a champion because I like winning, but more than anything I want to help all of my teammates.”
Artur will officially be added to the Black & Gold roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa and will occupy an international roster slot on Crew SC’s roster.
The club returned from Brazil over the weekend, where they trained for 18 days to begin preseason. Crew SC trains in Columbus until Wednesday before departing for South Carolina for the Carolina Challenge Cup.
Crew SC opens the 2017 MLS regular season on March 4 at home against Eastern Conference rivals, the Chicago Fire.