D.C. United announced on Wednesday that the club has signed Brazilian striker Rafael as a young Designated Player on a season-long loan.
The 20-year-old joins United from Brazilian side Bahia, where he appeared in 36 games and scored 10 goals.
"We are very excited to have reached a deal to bring Rafael to D.C. United on a one-year loan with a view to a permanent transfer," D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper said. "He is a young, talented player with solid experience with the Brazilian Serie A club Bahia. We believe Rafael has all the qualities to be a successful striker in Major League Soccer, and we look forward to having him join us in preseason 2013."
United finished second in the Eastern Conference last year with 53 goals in the regular season and the club will hope that the addition of Rafael will further add to their attacking options.
The forward represented Brazil at the 2011 Pan-American games and he becomes the youngest current DP in MLS.