The likes of Joao Moutinho and Kamal Miller will be expected to continue their promising careers at the back for Orlando City in 2020 following solid terms last time round. Oriol Rosell will again be the main man in the holding midfield role, with the likes of Robinho and Mauricio Pereyra looking to provide an attacking impetus from the middle of the park.
They will all be looking to provide support to Nani, who will once again be the focal point of the Lions’ attack with help from Tesho Akindele, Chris Mueller and Dom Dwyer. Between the sticks, Bryan Rowe will be expected to remain as the club’s number one after a solid first year in South Florida where he kept seven clean sheets in 32 appearances.
Transfers & SuperDraft Picks
The entirety of Orlando’s transfers out came on November 21 as they either declined the options, or contracts expired for ten players, the majority of whom have already found their new clubs for 2020.
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Canadian midfielder Will Johnson is the only man who is not yet with a club for the new campaign. Sacha Kljestan was perhaps the biggest name to leave Orlando after his contract expired, the attacking midfielder signing for LA Galaxy. Three more midfielders — Cristian Higuita, Cam Lindley and Dillon Powers, also left the club, while two central defenders also departed as Peruvian Carlos Ascues returned to his home nation, signing for Alianza Lima, and Lamine Sane made the move back to Europe after 18 months in MLS, signing for Dutch side FC Utrecht.
The club also lost a couple of goalkeepers in Greg Ranjitsingh, who was selected by Minnesota United in the End of Year Waiver Draft, and Adam Grinwis, with the American signing for Sacramento Republic in the USL Championship. Paraguayan midfielder Josue Colman remains out on loan at Cerro Porteno with the conclusion of his 18-month loan deal coming at the end of the 2020 campaign.
Orlando City have added to their goalkeeping shortfall with Peruvian shot-stopper Pedro Gallese, who they have signed on a free transfer from Mexican side Veracruz. The club has also confirmed full-back Ruan will remain with the club having signed the Brazilian on a permanent deal following a year on loan with the Lions last season.
OCSC have also brought in three midfielders, two of which are homegrown players. David Loera has come in from NC State Wolfpack, while Jordan Bender has graduated from the Orlando City B team to move into the first-team squad.
They also signed Brazilian midfielder Junior Urso from Corinthians for a reported fee of $900,000, their one big-money signing ahead of the 2020 campaign. Orlando brought in three players on loan for the 2020 term, all with the option to buy at the end of the season. Colombian midfielder Andres Pera joins from Atletico Nacional and centre-halves Rodrigo Schlegel and Antonio Carlos.
In the end, the Lions picked five players in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, including three picks in the second round, having acquired the 39th overall pick from New England and the 44th overall pick from Minnesota United. They started with the fifth pick where they selected Virginia forward Daryl Dike, before then choosing Wake Forest midfielder Joey DeZart in the second round.
Central Florida defender Jonathan Dean and Providence shot-stopper Austin Aviza were also selected in the second round with the aforementioned acquired picks, before Florida International defender Nick O’Callaghan was selected with the fifth pick in the third round, their final selection.