The first fruits of Ben Olsen's South American trip may have just arrived, as multiple reports out of Brazil quote EC Bahia's coach Paulo Angioni as saying that 20 year old striker Rafael Souza will go on a season long loan to D.C. United. Rafael has played in 46 games for EC Bahia, who finished 14th in the Brazilian Serie A last season, and he has scored 10 goals. He also played in the most recent edition of the Pan American Games for the Brazilian U-20 team.
(Update: EC Bahia's official site is also announcing the loan.)
After being called up to the senior club in 2011, Rafael has struggled to find consistent playing time, often playing in cups and as a substitute. His moved to D.C. United would give him the playing time that he needs to continue his development while hopefully given the team a striker in the mold that Ben Olsen wants. He may not be the Luis Fabiano of which we all dream, but he is a much more likely signing than Fabiano ever was. Hopefully he can at least provide more than Pablo Hernandez, the last striker the team brought on loan from South America. And who knows; he just could turn out to be the Hamnard Salijoy that the team really needs.
As is customary when there are rumors of D.C. United signing an unknown player, please enjoy his grainy YouTube highlight video.