Orlando City reportedly has a deal with the Philadelphia Union for defensive midfielder Amobi Okugo. In a deal first reported by the Philly Soccer Page and also published by the Orlando Sentinel, the 23-year-old Californian will join the Lions in exchange for allocation money. According to Soccer By Ives, the Union will receive $100,000.
The Union star's contract expires at the end of December so he would need to come to terms with Orlando City, should the Lions acquire his rights -- something the club would not likely do without assurances in place, so presumably the sides have agreed to a deal.
Okugo would fit a vital role for Adrian Heath's 4-2-3-1 formation, slotting in behind Kaka and the rest of the attacking midfield players. He can also play central defense, but at six feet tall, is probably better suited for midfield. Okugo has played five seasons with the Union, appearing in 117 games with 101 starts, scoring five goals with six assists. The No. 6 pick in the 2010 SuperDraft has been a fan favorite in Philadelphia and was second on the club in 2014 in appearances (32) and starts (31).
A U.S. international, Okugo has appeared with America's U-20s at the 2009 CONCACAF Championships and with the U-18s at the 2009 Australian Youth Festival.
Okugo reportedly wanted to try his luck in Europe, but perhaps Orlando City changed his mind.
The club has yet to confirm this deal, but there is probably too much smoke in the atmosphere on this one for there not to be a fire.
This could be the first of several moves for the Lions on Monday's half-day trade window that opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 1 p.m. MLS clubs will submit their protected lists for the Dec. 10 Expansion Draft by 2 p.m. and both Orlando City and NYCFC will receive those lists by close of business.
The official announcement of goalkeeper Tally Hall to Orlando City should be part of Monday's announcements as well.