D.C. United have signed SK Rapid Wien (Rapid Vienna) and Greek National Team forward Taxiarchis "Taxi" Fountas to a pre-contract. Fountas will join the Black-and-Red as a Designated Player in July 2022. The 26-year-old has signed a contract through June 30, 2025 with a club option to extend through the end of 2025.
“Taxi (Taxiarchis Fountas) is a player we’re really excited about as we feel he is someone who has the quality to consistently influence matches for us in the attacking third,” Dave Kasper, D.C. United President of Soccer Operations, said. “We are excited to welcome him to the club and feel that his experience across many of Europe’s top leagues along with the Greek National Team will help to make an immediate impact for us going forward.”
Fountas, who signed his first professional contract at 15-years-old, has played in the top divisions of Austria and Greece in a 10-year career going back to 2011. In 254 professional appearances, the Greek National Team forward has scored 64 goals and recorded 37 assists.
Fountas joins the Black-and-Red after spending the previous three seasons in the Austrian Bundesliga (the first division in Austria) with Rapid Vienna. Fountas signed with Rapid Vienna from fellow Austrian club SKN St. Pölten on July 1, 2019. Fountas made his debut and scored his first goal for the club in a 9-1 win against Allerheiligen in the Austrian Cup, a tournament across all divisions of Austrian soccer, on July 21, 2019. In the 2021-2022 season, the 26-year-old has scored seven goals and recorded four assists in 17 appearances in league play while also making four appearances in the UEFA Europa League. In total, the forward has scored 45 goals and recorded 21 assists in 90 appearances across all competitions for Rapid Vienna since signing in 2019. Notably, Fountas made seven appearances (five starts) in the Europa League including a goal against Arsenal FC in group play on Oct. 22, 2020.
“Taxi excels with the ball at his feet and has the ability to both create and finish chances. He has the experience to play anywhere across the front line or just underneath a center forward in an attacking central midfield role in Head Coach Hernán Losada’s system,” Lucy Rushton, D.C. United General Manager, said. “We believe his ability and personality are a perfect fit for our system and we’re eager to introduce him to the Black-and-Red.”
Fountas has represented the Greece National Team on multiple occasions since making his debut at 19-years-old as a substitute on June 13, 2015, against the Faroe Islands in a qualifying match for the 2016 European Championships. Fountas has made a total of eight appearances for the Greeks after representing his nation at the U-17, U-19, U-20, and U-21 levels. His last appearance for Greece was as a substitute in the 1-1 draw with Kosovo on Sept. 5, 2021 in 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Fountas started his professional career at AEK Athens F.C. in the Greek first division when he signed with the club on July 1, 2011, at 15-years-old. The forward made his professional debut on May 2, 2012, playing 90 minutes against PAOK Thessaloniki in the Greek Super League 1 Play-off. Fountas went on to score four goals and record two assists in 35 appearances across all competitions for the Greek side before signing with Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian first division on July 22, 2013. Fountas made one appearance for Red Bull Salzburg on Sept. 25, 2013 in the Austrian Cup before moving to their reserve side, FC Liefering, to make six appearances. He was then signed by Austrian side SV Grödig on loan on Jan. 31, 2014. In his six-month loan with SV Grödig, Fountas made seven appearances (four starts) before returning to Salzburg on June 30, 2014. Fountas was then signed on loan by Panionios Athens in the Greek first division on Aug. 20, 2014. In two loan stints with the Greek side, Fountas scored six goals and recorded eight assists in 53 appearances across all competitions. The 26-year-old returned to Red Bull Salzburg after his first stint with Panianios Athens on June 30, 2015, before immediately leaving on loan for Asteras Tripolis in Greece on July 1, 2015. In one season with Asteras Tripolis, the forward scored four goals and recorded two assists in 24 appearances. He returned to Panionios Athens on loan for his second stint with the club on July 21, 2016 and spent a year with the club before returning to Salzburg. His contract with the Austrian club expired on July 1, 2017.
Following the expiration of his contract with Red Bull Salzburg, Fountas signed with SG Sonnenhof Großaspach in the third tier of German soccer. In one season with the German side, Fountas scored one goal and recorded four assists in 16 appearances. Fountas returned to Austria the following season when he was signed by SKN St. Pölten in the Austrian first division on July 13, 2018. He scored four goals in 22 seasons before he was acquired by current club, Rapid Vienna, on July 1, 2019.
Player: Taxiarchis "Taxi" Fountas
Birthplace: Messolonghi, Greece
Weight: 143 lbs
Previous Club: Rapid Vienna
Transaction: D.C. United sign Taxiarchis Fountas as a Designated Payer through June 30, 2025 with a club option to extend through the end of 2025. Fountas will join the club in July 2022.