HARRISON, NJ (September 14, 2012) – The New York Red Bulls announced today that the club has signed 26-year-old defender Digão.
“Digão has impressed our coaching staff during his trial in the past week and we want to continue evaluating him for the remainder of the season,” said Red Bulls General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler. “He has earned a solid amount of experience for a number of European sides and we are glad to add him to our roster.”
At the age of 19 in 2004, Digão (full name: Rodrigo Izecson dos Santos Leite) signed with Italian club A.C. Milan. For two seasons from 2005 through 2007, he was loaned out to fellow Italian side A.C. Rimini, making 23 appearances. Digão returned to Milan for the beginning of the 2007-08 season and made his lone Serie A appearance for the club in March 2008. Since then, the Brazilian defender spent time on loan in Belgium with Standard Liege, in Italy with U.S. Lecce and F.C. Crotone and most recently with Portuguese side F.C. Penafiel in 2010-11, playing in 10 matches. After his stint with Penafiel, his contract with Milan expired.
Before turning professional, Digão spent time as a youth player at Brazilian club Sao Paolo and U.C. Sampdoria of Italy before joining the youth ranks at Milan. Digão is the younger brother of Brazilian International and Real Madrid midfielder Kaká.
Weight: 183 pounds
Day of Birth: Oct. 14, 1985 in Brasilia, Brazil
Hometown: Brasilia, Brazil
Previous Club: A.C. Milan (Italy)
How Acquired: Signed by New York on Sept. 14, 2012.