Orlando City Strengthens Its Squad With Significant Changes

The Florida-based club gears up for the upcoming season with strategic signings

Orlando City v New York Red Bulls
Orlando City v New York Red Bulls / Ira L. Black - Corbis/GettyImages
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Orlando City SC is shaping a promising team for the 2024 season, solidifying its presence in the American soccer scene with strategic acquisitions and crucial roster decisions. The latest addition to the team is the skilled Colombian forward Iván Angulo, whose vital contribution to the victory in the US Open Cup in 2022 left an unforgettable mark on the fans' hearts.

Angulo's signing, now secured until the 2025 season with an option for 2026, represents a smart move by Orlando City's management. The 24-year-old player, previously on loan from Palmeiras, showcased his versatility, accumulating 5 goals and 11 assists in 43 matches for the Lions. His influence extends beyond the offensive sector, contributing vital defensive pressure from the wings.

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Luiz Muzzi, EVP of football operations and general manager of Orlando, highlights Angulo's importance as a key piece for the team. Muzzi emphasizes not only the player's creativity in the offensive phase but also his defensive ability, solidifying him as a fundamental pillar for the upcoming season.

Lionel Messi
Leagues Cup 2023: Inter Miami CF v Orlando City CF / Simon M Bruty/GettyImages

In addition to Angulo's acquisition, Orlando City has announced other significant moves. The return of Wilder Cartegena, a former loaned player, adds depth to the midfield, while the amicable departure of midfielder Mauricio Pereyra gives him the opportunity to contribute to Nacional in Uruguay.

Another notable change is the transfer of defender Antônio Carlos to Fluminense, the current champion of the Copa Libertadores. This transaction indicates a restructuring in Orlando City's defense, aiming to strengthen different areas of the field.

Rumors also point to the possible signing of Nicolás Lodeiro, a legend from the Seattle Sounders, to take on the role of the number 10. If confirmed, this addition would bring experience and leadership to the team, complementing the ambitious squad looking to build upon the success achieved in the historic 2023 season, where the club recorded a record 63 points.

With the second-best performance in the MLS last season (18 wins, 7 losses, 9 draws), Orlando City enters 2024 as a strong contender, eager to face more significant challenges, including participation in the Concacaf Champions Cup. The kickoff is set for February 24 against CF Montréal, promising an exciting year for fans and a season full of expectations for the Lions of Florida.