Rafael struggles for the ball with Adrian Martinez of Argentina during a match as part of 2011 Pan American Games.
Rafael struggles for the ball with Adrian Martinez of Argentina during a match as part of 2011 Pan American Games.
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

D.C. United have signed Brazilian striker Rafael as a designated player on loan for one year.

United announced Wednesday that the 20-year-old Rafael will be available to play once he receives an international transfer certificate and a visa.

Rafael joins United from Bahia of the Brazilian league. He was also on the Under-20 team that represented Brazil at the 2011 Pan-American games.

United General Manager Dave Kasper says the team is looking at the loan as a bridge to a permanent transfer.

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