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Vancouver Whitecaps FC acquire Lucas Venuto from FK Austria Wien

Whitecaps FC added another important piece to their attack on Friday, acquiring Brazilian winger Lucas Venuto on a transfer from FK Austria Wien. The transaction was completed with the use of Targeted Allocation Money.

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Miami, FL (Friday, January 25, 2019) by Kenneth Russo –

Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced the acquisition today of another Brazilian forward Lucas Venuto on a transfer from FK Austria Wien, through use of Targeted Allocation Money (“TAM”).

ES: El futbolista de 24 años llega a la Major League Soccer tras pasar sus últimas cuatro temporadas en la Bundesliga austríaca. Su currículum incluye 26 goles en 151 partidos (115 como titular) en sus etapas con Red Bull Brasil, FC Liefering, SV Grödig, y Austria Wien.

Venuto, 24 years old, has spent the past five seasons in the Austrian Bundesliga. He will officially join the club’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (“ITC”), Canada work permit, visa, and completion of his medical examinations. 

He arrives with a resume that include 26 goals in 115 starts and 151 total appearances with Red Bull Brasil, FC Liefering, SV Grödig, and most recently Austria Wien. His contract with Austria Wien was set to expire this summer.

“Lucas is a very fast and dynamic winger who has a lot of energy in his game,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos. “He always looks to attack, take players on, and he has an incredible work ethic on both sides of the ball. This is player who left Brazil when he was young and was able to adapt quickly in Europe. We believe he’s a perfect fit for the way we want to play, and we are very happy to add him to our roster.”  

Venuto transferred to Austria Wien during the European winter transfer window in January 2016. In three years with Die Veilchen, he started in 66 matches, and 87 total appearances across the league, UEFA Europa League and Austrian Cup competitions. and scored 14 goals.

Venuto was discovered in Governador Valadares, a small town in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, by Red Bull Brasil, the Brazilian arm of the Red Bull club empire. He began his professional debut in 2012, playing two seasons in his native country with Red Bull Brasil, which play in the Campeonato Paulista Série A2, before moving to Germany to join the RB Leipzig U-19 side. He transferred to Austria to play for 2. Liga club FC Liefering in 2014, where he was then loaned out to top-flight club SV Grödig, a move that was made permanent in the following year. 

After leading SV Grödig in scoring with seven goals and two assists in 20 starts in the first half of the 2015-16 Bundesliga season, he transferred to the Viennese club.

Transfermarkt Player Profile:

Lucas Venuto  

  • 26 goals in 115 starts and 151 total appearances 
  • Five plus seasons in the Austrian Bundesliga 
  • Played with German club RB Leipzig U-19 and Austrian 2. Liga club FC Liefering  
  • Began pro career in native land with Campeonato Paulista Série A2 Red Bull Brasil 
Marc Dos Santos on new signing Lucas Venuto with Highlights

Anatomy of the Transaction

The Whitecaps had been looking to acquire Venuto. His MLS rights, however, were owned by New York City Football Club, who owned a right of first refusal for the young Brazilian.1

[1. This would indicate that the league had previously tried to sign Venuto on behalf of NYCFC and had been unable to do so. Under the MLS Roster Rules in that case NYCFC retained a “right of first refusal for four full transfer windows. According to a literal reading of the rules, Whitecaps FC should have paid $50,000 in GAM to acquire the rights to negotiate with Venuto. It is unclear why the amount paid is reported to be $150,000]

In order to obtain his MLS rights, Vancouver had to use General Allocation Money, sending $150,000 in GAM to NYCFC in exchange for the rights to the player.

Venuto has agreed to a three-year contract through 2021, with a club option for 2022. The club will use TAM towards his salary budget charge. He will occupy one of Vancouver’s international roster spots.

Whitecaps FC winger Lucas Venuto Career Chart

Senior career
2012–2014Red Bull Brasil5(0)
2014–2015→ Grödig (loan)11(0)
2016–2019Austria Wien68(12)
2019–Vancouver Whitecaps FC0(0)
Lucas Venuto working on a comeback in Brazil in a May 2018 video for his club FK Austria Wien. He had suffered a ruptured cruciate ligament and missed six months.

© 2020 Russo Law & Soccer


By Ken Russo

While my background is in the legal industry, the skills acquired and fine-tuned in law practice are now applied to focus on the sport of football. Russo Soccer aims to inform, educate and engage on news and relevant issues in the game.

Um advogado por formação, concentro meu trabalho nos negócios, comunicações e operações de equipes no futebol mundial. | Abogado con fundación avanzada en comunicaciones, enfocado en los negocios del fútbol y las comunicaciones. | Je suis un avocat experimenté dans les affaires de football.