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Orlando City Announces Roster Decisions Following 2023 Season

The club has announced roster decisions and contract statuses as it heads into the off-season.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Orlando City has announced the decisions it has made on the roster, and the status of all the players on its roster following the conclusion of the 2023 Major League Soccer season. The club has exercised the options on eight players, and had 15 players who were already under guaranteed contracts for the 2024 season. Additionally, two loan have expired, one player is leaving the club while another is currently in talks to do so, two players have had their options declined, and one is out of contract and will not return to the team. Let’s break everything down, shall we?

We’ll start with the 15 players who are under contract for next season. That group is made up of forwards Ramiro Enrique and Facundo Torres; midfielders César Araújo, Gastón González, Favian Loyola, Shak Mohammed, Martín Ojeda and Dagur Dan Thórhallsson; defenders Alex Freeman, Rafael Santos, Rodrigo Schlegel and Thomas Williams; and goalkeepers Pedro Gallese, Javier Otero and Mason Stajduhar.

Options have been exercised on on forwards Jack Lynn and Duncan McGuire; midfielder Felipe; and defenders Mikey Halliday, Robin Jansson, Luca Petrasso, Abdi Salim, and Kyle Smith.

“Although we fell short of our ultimate goal for the year, we have a lot to be proud of with what we accomplished: setting new club records for wins, points, and road wins, qualifying for the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for a fourth-consecutive season, and earning our way back into Concacaf Champions Cup,” said Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Luiz Muzzi in a club press release. “We have to thank the players that are leaving us after this season for everything they’ve done for the club and for the culture that they’ve helped build here within this team. We have a great foundation with which to continue growing from and make next year even more successful for everyone involved with the club.”

The loan contracts of Ivan Angulo and Wilder Cartagena have both expired, but the club stated that it is currently in discussions for both to return to the Lions next year.

As previously stated, the contract of Mauricio Pereyra has been mutually terminated so that the midfielder can pursue new opportunities in his career. The club also confirmed that it is currently in negotiations for a potential transfer of Antonio Carlos, but that his option has also been exercised.

Last but not least, OCSC has declined the options of forward Wilfredo Rivera, and midfielder Junior Urso. Adam Grinwis is out of contract and will not be back with the team in 2024.

What it Means for Orlando City

There aren’t really any massive shocks here, although the departure of Urso is a bit of a surprise. With the news that Cartagena is in talks to return, he and Araujo will remain the two starting defensive midfielders, provided that a team doesn’t come in for the young Uruguayan. That being said, Urso was a proven quantity as the first midfielder off the bench, and his versatility has proven useful in the past when the injury bug has been particularly vicious. On the other hand, paying $360,000 a year for a backup midfielder isn’t necessarily the best piece of business, particularly when the two guys starting over him are making less. So I can see the logic behind the decision, even if I’m sad to see him go again.

Rivera having his option declined isn’t something that will make as big of a splash. He spent the entirety of the year with Orlando City B in MLS Next PRO, and had a perfectly fine campaign with three goals and three assists in 775 minutes. He’s only 20 years old, but the club may not have thought he was developing the way they hoped, or its possible that he wanted to go somewhere he could find first team playing time.

Bringing back the eight players who had their options exercised were all logical decisions. McGuire had a fantastic rookie year, Lynn was the MVP of MLS Next PRO, Felipe and Smith are seasoned veterans who know the league, Jansson is one of the first names on the team sheet, and Halliday, Petrasso, and Salim are all young and have shown varying degrees of promise.

It was good to hear that the club is trying to bring back Angulo and Cartagena. Wilder has been a revelation since his arrival last year, and he was a key reason behind Orlando’s season being successful as it was. Angulo also played a big role this year as one of the starting wingers, and if he can improve his decision making and finishing in the final third, then the Lions might find it hard to hold onto him for too long.

We got confirmation of the rumors that Antonio Carlos could be on his way out the door. While Fluminese was not mentioned by name, its likely that Tom Bogert’s reporting is accurate, as that dude knows what he’s talking about.

If/when he does leave, expect the club to make signing a new center back one of its top priorities. It’s possible that Rodrigo Schlegel did enough this season to earn the starting role alongside Jansson, but the Lions will need more cover at the position regardless of what Oscar Pareja decides.

The departure of Grinwis isn’t too surprising. He’s been a fantastic servant for the team as the third string goalkeeper, and his U.S. Open Cup heroics during the Running of the Wall mean that plenty of people will always have a soft spot for him. That being said, the Lions have 21-year-old Javier Otero on the roster, who was the starter for OCB this year. Given the choice between the 31-year-old Grinwis, or the youngster, it makes more sense to go with Otero.

Post-2022 Orlando City Roster Status (Current club players in italics)

  • Iván Angulo: Loan Expired
  • César Araújo: Under Contract
  • Wilder Cartagena: Loan Expired
  • Antonio Carlos: Option Exercised (in discussion for transfer)
  • Ramiro Enrique: Under Contract
  • Alex Freeman: Under Contract
  • Pedro Gallese: Under Contract
  • Gastón González: Under Contract
  • Adam Grinwis: Out of Contract
  • Mikey Halliday: Option Exercised
  • Robin Jansson: Option Exercised
  • Favian Loyola: Under Contract
  • Jack Lynn: Option Exercised
  • Felipe Martins: Option Exercised
  • Duncan McGuire: Option Exercised
  • Shak Mohammed: Guaranteed through 2025
  • Martín Ojeda: Under Contract
  • Javier Otero: Under Contract
  • Luca Petrasso: Option Exercised
  • Wilfredo Rivera: Option Declined
  • Abdi Salim: Option Exercised
  • Rafael Santos: Guaranteed through 2024
  • Rodrigo Schlegel: Guaranteed Through 2024
  • Kyle Smith: Option Exercised
  • Mason Stajduhar: Under Contract
  • Dagur Dan Thórhallsson: Under Contract
  • Facundo Torres: Under Contract
  • Júnior Urso: Option Declined
  • Thomas Williams: Under Contract

    Lion Links

    Lion Links: 4/23/24

    Ivan Angulo makes Team of the Matchday bench, Americans in action, Sergino Dest to miss Copa America, and more.



    Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

    Happy Tuesday, everyone! It was an excellent weekend for Orlando’s soccer teams, as the three sides took seven of the nine points on offer. There’s no rest for the wicked this week as the Orlando Pride travel to play the Washington Spirit on Friday, Orlando City hosts Toronto FC on Saturday, and Orlando City B finishes things up at home against Toronto FC II on Sunday. Let’s take a look at today’s links.

    Ivan Angulo Earns Recognition

    Ivan Angulo has been named to the bench of the latest edition of the MLS Team of the Matchday. The Colombian got the start on Saturday up in Montreal, and had a good game, going the distance and completing 82% of his passes and putting one of his two shots on target. That shot was an important one, as it gave the Lions a late equalizer and helped them salvage a valuable point on the road. Sean Rollins gave him a grade of 6 in his player grades from the match, a rating that likely would have been higher had Martin Ojeda’s pass been accurate enough to allow Angulo to grab a possible winner just a few minutes after he equalized. Here’s hoping he keeps up the good work!

    Americans in Midweek Action

    There are a number of Americans taking part in big games this week, and the good people over at Stars and Stripes FC have you covered with the whole rundown. First up, Weston McKennie, Tim Weah, and Juventus will try to advance to the Coppa Italia final this afternoon, as they enter the second leg of the semifinal against Lazio with a 2-0 lead on aggregate. Tomorrow sees Monaco and Folarin Balogun meet Lille in Ligue 1 action, while Chris Richards and Crystal Palace host Newcastle United in the Premier League. Things wrap up on Friday in Serie B when Gianluca Busio, Tanner Tessman, and third-place Venezia face Cremonese as they try to overtake Como and finish in one of Serie B’s two guaranteed promotion places.

    Sergino Dest Sidelined Long Term

    Following up on a story from yesterday’s Lion Links, The Athletic is reporting that the knee injury suffered by Sergino Dest will keep him out of Copa America, and sideline him for the rest of the year. That would be a big blow for the United States Men’s National Team, as Dest has been the nailed-on starter at right back since winning a place in the team during the qualifying cycle for the 2022 World Cup. The Yanks aren’t without options at the position, as Joe Scally could step in for Dest, or Gregg Berhalter could try deploying Weah there, but neither of the two possesses Dest’s level of offensive threat.

    Inter Milan Wins Serie A

    Inter Milan dispatched rival AC Milan 2-1 guaranteed that Inter will win its 20th Serie A title in club history. Fikayo Tomori’s goal in the 80th minute was the closest Christian Pulisic and Yunus Musah’s club could get to leveling the score, and Inter is now a whopping 17 points clear of AC Milan with five games left to play. Inter has been imperious on its way to a 20th Scudetto, scoring the most goals in the league while also conceding the fewest and losing only once this season.

    Free Kicks

    • The Orlando Pride and Orlando City hosted a clean-up effort in honor of Earth Day on Monday.

    That’s all I have for you this morning. Vamos Orlando!

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    Orlando City

    Orlando City vs. CF Montreal: Player Grades and Man of the Match

    How did your favorite Lions perform in Orlando City’s 2-2 draw with CF Montreal?



    Image courtesy of Orlando City / Mark Thor

    Orlando City scored in second-half injury time for the second consecutive weekend to claim points. However, this time it was an equalizer as the Lions drew CF Montreal 2-2 north of the border. The Lions ended their two-game road trip with four points and extended their points streak to four games after dropping three straight. It’s an improvement as they look to climb up the Eastern Conference standings.

    Here’s how I saw the individual performances in the draw.


    GK, Pedro Gallese, 5.5 — Gallese conceded a pair of goals in this game, though neither were necessarily his fault. The first was a breakaway after Robin Jansson kept Mason Toye onside and the second was blocked wide, but Kyle Smith was caught flat-footed. However, he did concede twice while saving three of Montreal’s five shots on target. Additionally, the Lions’ goalkeeper completed 55.6% of his 27 passes, including eight of his 20 long balls.

    D, Kyle Smith, 5.5 — Smith had a solid game other than one specific play. The left back had a team-high 86 touches and completed 78.3% of his 60 passes, including five of his 12 long balls. Defensively, he recorded two tackles, two clearances, an interception, and a blocked shot. Unfortunately, his most impactful play was getting caught watching on a Gallese block while Ariel Lassiter beat him to the rebound to give the hosts a late lead. That play lowers his grade for this otherwise quality performance.

    D, Robin Jansson, 5.5 — Similar to Smith, Jansson had a solid game apart from one play. He had 72 touches and completed 79.7% of his 59 passes, including a key pass and three of his 14 long balls. He added a tackle, an interception, a blocked shot, and a team-high seven clearances to his stat sheet. But his failure to step up in the 16th minute enabled Toye to get behind the back line and score the opening goal, lowering his grade.

    D, David Brekalo, 6 — Brekalo has proven himself to be the first-choice partner for Jansson and he was arguably the better center back in Montreal. The Slovenian international had 53 touches and completed 85.1% of his 47 passes, including two of his five long balls. The defender recorded two tackles, an interception, and three clearances defensively in a strong performance.

    D, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, 6 — Thorhallsson was in his usual right back position for this game, playing 90 minutes and recording 44 touches. He completed 82.8% of his 29 passes, but only one of his four long balls and neither of his two crosses. He cleared the ball twice and didn’t really get into the attack, but was solid in his defensive duties.

    MF, Wilder Cartagena, 6.5 (MotM) — This was possibly Cartagena’s best performance of the season. His 85 touches were second-most on the team and he completed 76.5% of his team-high 68 passes, including a key pass and two of his six long balls. It was his shielding of Nathan Saliba and strong pass forward for Duncan McGuire that started the last goal, though he didn’t get an assist. The defensive midfielder was also active defensively with five tackles and three interceptions, and he won a pair of aerial duels. His overall performance earns him my Man of the Match.

    MF, Cesar Araujo, 6.5 — Araujo had a similar performance to Cartagena, but fewer touches and more accurate passing. He recorded 55 touches and completed 93.9% of his 49 passes, including a key pass. He was less active than his partner defensively, recording three tackles, and was booked in the 63rd minute.

    MF, Ivan Angulo, 6 — Angulo had one of his better performances in this one, recording 48 touches and completing 82.1% of his 39 passes. His biggest impact on the game came two minutes into second-half stoppage time, when he connected with an excellent Martin Ojeda cross to even the game at 2-2. He nearly scored a winner five minutes later, but the pass from Ojeda was just a bit too far for him. His goal was one of his two shots and the only one on target.

    MF, Nico Lodeiro, 6 — Lodeiro’s 45 touches were the fewest of the Orlando City midfield, but he did the most with them. The playmaker completed 91.4% of his 35 passes, including a key pass, but couldn’t connect on his long ball or either of his two crosses. He was also caught offside and dispossessed twice before being replaced by Ojeda in the 77th minute.

    MF, Facundo Torres, 6 — Torres’ 65 touches were the most in the Lions’ midfield and the fourth most on the team. He completed 83.7% of his 49 passes, but didn’t connect on his two crosses or four long balls. The attacker took three shots and put one on target. In the 22nd minute, the midfielder stepped up and buried his second penalty of the season and ninth as a Lion, continuing her perfect record from the spot.

    F, Luis Muriel, 6 — While Oscar Pareja had previously been starting Muriel behind McGuire, the forward got the start alone up top for the second consecutive game. He had 34 touches and completed 68.4% of his 19 passes, including his lone long ball but neither of his two crosses. His biggest impact on the game came in the 20th minute, when he tipped the ball past Montreal goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois, drawing the penalty that resulted in the first equalizer. He also had a shot of his own, but it was off target.


    F, Duncan McGuire (63’), 6 — McGuire came on in the 63rd minute for Muriel. He had 16 touches in 27 minutes, completing eight of his 10 passes (80%) with a key pass. His lone shot came in the 90th minute, when Jansson headed the ball over to him and he probably should’ve equalized, but his volley was just wide. The striker also won three aerial duels.

    MF, Martin Ojeda (77’), 6.5 — Ojeda came on in the 77th minute for Lodeiro and, similar to Lodeiro last week, made a big difference. He had 15 touches and completed four of his six passes (66.7%), including a key pass. Two minutes into second-half injury time, his excellent cross found Angulo, who touched it in for the equalizer. Five minutes later, he had another great cross that nearly found Angulo for the winner, but was just out of his reach.

    D, Rafael Santos (85’), 6 — Santos came on in the 85th minute for Torres as the Lions looked to see out a point. He had nine touches and completed two of his three passes (66.7%), but didn’t connect on his cross or long ball. Coming on to assure the defense, Santos did his job as he recorded a tackle, an interception, and two clearances.

    This is how I saw Orlando City’s 2-2 draw with CF Montreal. Let us know how you saw the game and don’t forget to vote for your Man of the Match.

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    Lion Links

    Lion Links: 4/22/24

    Orlando City draws CF Montreal, Pride and OCB win, FA Cup drama, and more.



    Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Jeremy Reper

    Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you down in Florida. Orlando City drew, while the Pride and OCB both won over the weekend. I had friends in town, so I went to Wrigley Field to check out a Cubs game and show them around Chicago. Let’s wish former Orlando City midfielder Kaka and Pride defender Brianna Martinez a happy birthday! There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

    Lions Draw at CF Montreal

    Orlando City again had to overcome a 2-1 deficit on the road when it faced CF Montreal Saturday night. The Lions needed a late stoppage-time goal from Ivan Angulo to walk out of Stade Saputo with a 2-2 draw. Orlando has now picked up points in each of the last four matches. Orlando City will face CF Montreal again on July 26 in the MLS Leagues Cup during the competition’s group stage. The Lions’ next match will be Saturday at Inter&Co Stadium as it takes on Toronto FC.

    Orlando Pride Defeat San Diego Wave

    The Orlando Pride shut out the San Diego Wave 1-0 on Friday at Inter&Co Stadium and got their second consecutive win with that same scoreline. Summer Yates scored the lone goal in the first half to seal the win for Orlando. Zambian international striker Barbra Banda made her debut for the Pride, coming off the bench in the second half. The Pride remain undefeated through five league matches and are fifth in the NWSL table with nine points. The team will be on the road to face the Washington Spirit Friday.

    OCB Wins on the Road at Crown Legacy FC

    Orlando City B got a 2-0 win against Crown Legacy FC at the Sportsplex at Matthews on Friday. Alex Freeman and Shak Mohammed scored for the Young Lions, and Javier Otero made six saves. OCB completed its two-match road trip, securing four out of a possible six points, and has kept its unbeaten streak on the road alive at four matches. OCB is in fifth in the MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference with nine points, while Crown Legacy is winless in five matches. OCB will be back in action this Sunday as it hosts Toronto FC II at Osceola County Stadium.

    Manchester United and Manchester City Advance to FA Cup Final

    Manchester United won 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw against Coventry City in the FA Cup semifinals to advance to the final. It was a thrilling match at Wembley as United had a 3-0 lead before Coventry City rallied to get back into the match. USMNT forward Haji Wright scored the equalizer to tie the match 3-3 late into stoppage time. Coventry City thought it scored the game-winning goal late into extra time from Victor Torp, but it was ruled offside after video review. Casemiro missed his penalty for United, while Wright and Torp gave Coventry City a 2-1 advantage. United converted four straight penalties while Coventry City missed two to seal the win for the Red Devils. Manchester City edged past Chelsea 1-0 in their semifinal matchup, with Bernardo Silva scoring the lone goal in the second half. The FA Cup final will be played at the end of May and will feature a Manchester Derby for the second consecutive time.

    Free Kicks

    • In case you missed it, check out this video on Orlando City’s social media page on Ivan Angulo’s equalizer to tie the match in stoppage time against CF Montreal on Saturday.

    According to OptaJack, the Pride have secured the most points at home during the regular season since last May, with 26.

    • USMNT defender Sergino Dest suffered a knee injury during training with PSV Eindhoven over the weekend. Dest will miss the remainder of the Eredivisie season and could miss the 2024 Copa America this summer.
    • Real Madrid came back from being 2-1 down to defeat Barcelona 3-2 and stay ahead of its rivals by 11 points with six league matches left.
    • Bayer Leverkusen extended its unbeaten run to 45 matches after scoring a late goal from Josip Stanisic in stoppage time to get a 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund.
    • Serie A side Udinese is reportedly set to hire former Juventus and Real Madrid player Fabio Cannavaro as its next head coach.

    That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Monday and I’ll see you next time.

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