KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - One Knoxville SC today announced its first-ever USL Academy signing in Knoxville, Tenn.-native Leo Santos. The deal is pending league and federation approval and will allow Santos to maintain his college eligibility.
The 16-year-old midfielder developed with the youth teams of NPSL side Emerald Force SC in Knoxville and was a member of MLS club Nashville SC's U-15 academy team in 2021. In 2020, Santos was named to the U.S. Youth Soccer Mid South Conference Best XI U-14 team following success with Emerald Force.
With Nashville SC's U-15 squad, Santos found the back of the net against Wake FC in MLS NEXT play on Sept. 25, 2021. In 2022, Santos signed with then-USL League Two side One Knoxville SC, becoming the youngest signing in the club's short history.
Santos is the son of Esporte Clube Vitória player and Emerald Force coach Adelmo Santos.