Leave it to the New York Red Bulls to make the biggest signing of the so far young MLS offseason. Juninho -- yes, that Juninho of Olympique Lyonnaise and Brazilian World Cup fame -- was officially unveiled as the Red Bulls' newest player on Monday. If reports are accurate, the signing won't even cost the Red Bulls a Designated Player spot that was opened when Rafael Marquez was allowed to sign with Mexico's Leon.
"Juninho is a world class player who our Global Sporting Director, Gerard Houllier, and I have known and admired for many years," said Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh said in a team release. "Aside from being a top dead ball specialist and a tremendous talent, Juninho is a fantastic professional both on and off the field. He is in great physical shape and we think he can make a positive impact for us in 2013."
Juninho, 37, is probably best known for some of his spectacular free kicks. His best professional stint came from 2001-09 with French power Lyon. At one point, he scored 100 goals in 344 all-competition matches.
Juninho most recently played for Brazilian club Vasco de Gama, who has found itself in some financial troubles. He has scored 14 goals in 50 games for them since 2011.
Although he hasn't played for Brazil since the 2006 World Cup, he does have seven goals and 47 caps in his international career.