Well, the paperwork from immigration must be coming fast and furious today, as Orlando City SC formally announced the long-rumored signing of Colombian midfielder Carlos Rivas. Social media reports started circulating about Rivas on Dec. 5 and Rivas appeared in a tweet from Deportivo Cali teammate Cristian Higuita wearing an Orlando City jersey (as was Higuita) on Jan. 8.
Paul Tenorio of the Orlando Sentinel announced that the signings of Rivas and Higuita were done on Jan. 9. Now Rivas is official and we await word on Higuita, who was at Orlando City's training on Media Day.
Terms were not disclosed on the speedy Rivas signing, which is rumored to be in the $1.5 million range, but it was not announced as a Designated Player contract.
"We've had our eyes on Carlos for quite some time now," said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath in a club press release. "He ticks a lot of the boxes that we look for in players, and we believe that he's an exciting midfielder who will certainly contribute for us moving forward."
Rivas, 20, joins the Lions after spending the previous three seasons in the Colombian first division with powerhouse Deportivo Cali. In 2014, Rivas enjoyed his most successful professional season, scoring 12 goals in 29 appearances.
He also scored two goals in Copa Sudamericana competition and one in the Copa Libertadores, leading the team with 15 goals in all competitions. He helped Deportivo Cali win a Superliga title.
Prior to joining Deportivo Cali, Rivas made his professional debut at age 16 years with top-flight Colombian side Once Caldas.