Orlando City

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


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