The 32-year-old joined the club in June after stints in the MLS with DC United and Philadelphia Union.

The playmaker was also part of the Melbourne Victory side that claimed the 2006/07 A-League championship.

Heart coach John van 't Schip said the Brazilian had impressed everybody with his leadership abilities during the pre-season.

"Fred has excited everybody at the club since his arrival," van 't Schip said. "His quality as a player and fantastic personality are exactly what we thought they would be.

"As the marquee player, Fred has an important role within the club and his arrival, combined with that of David (Williams), Mate (Dugandzic), Maycon, Shony (Jonatan Germano) and Curtis (Good) will ensure we are an exciting team to support and watch."

Van 't Schip also thanked Heart's inaugural skipper Colosimo for his work during the club's debut A-League season.

"Simon has worked tirelessly for the club and remains an important senior member of our team," the Dutchman said.

"He's had an interrupted pre-season and we owe it to Simon to give him the best chance of playing every match this season without the extra work that comes with being captain."

Heart kick-off their 2011/12 campaign with a match against the Newcastle Jets at Ausgrid Stadium on October 8.