D.C. United signs MLS forward Maicon Santos

UPDATE 11:12 A.M. WEDNESDAY WITH SANTOS SIGNING

Maicon Santos, a Brazilian forward who served as Toronto FC’s captain before being traded to FC Dallas last season, has signed with D.C. United and is training with the club.

Dallas didn’t exercise his contract option and he wasn’t selected in the MLS re-entry draft, freeing the 27-year-old target man to pursue opportunities this winter. He had six goals and an assist in 19 league appearances for Toronto before being dealt to Dallas in August. In 11 matches with the Texas club, he contributed two goals and an assist.

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After playing in Brazil, Tunisia, Libya and Israel, Maicon Santos entered MLS in 2009 with Chivas USA and was released early in the 2010 season. In three years in MLS, he has notched 14 goals and five assists in 62 matches.

His potential move to DCU apparently received a stamp of approval from D.C. United star Dwayne De Rosario, the 2011 MLS MVP who partnered with the Brazilian in Toronto. At 6 feet 1, Maicon Santos would provide size and strength to United’s frontline.

He earned $126,000 last year. United did not announce contract terms.

The club, which parted ways with several veterans after last season, is also in the hunt for a proven European forward — no names have surfaced publicly — and has been eyeing Emeliano Dudar, a Swiss-based center back from Argentina.

Several trialists have arrived in Washington for the beginning of camp and others are expected to join the club in Florida next week. American midfielder Mike da Fonte, who played at Bryant and Longwood universities before setting his sights on Europe and eventually signing with Portuguese club Rio Ave, is among the candidates.

United is scheduled to conduct its first practice Wednesday morning.

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.

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