Orlando City finally made its first acquisition of the off-season on Thursday, picking up New England Revolution fullback Kevin Alston in Phase 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft.
The 27-year-old comes to Orlando after six seasons in New England, where he appeared in 148 games, winning the 2013 MLS Comeback Player of the Year award after battling chronic myelogenous leukemia, and was also voted the Revs' 2010 Defender of the Year.
While Alston isn't a household name in MLS, and might not be considered a "sexy" pick, he's a quality pick-up for Orlando City that fits exactly the kind of mold Adrian Heath likes in his players.
Six years and 148 MLS matches is exactly the kind of experience that Heath loves to have, and is something that he emphasized that the team needs to add to the roster this winter. And he's versatile, too, another quality that'll get you in good with Heath, as Alston can play both fullback spots.
The Lions came into the off-season needing to find a veteran fullback that could add MLS experience and compete with Rafael Ramos on the right side -- they got that with Alston.
"The selection of Kevin through today's Re-Entry Draft can provide valuable experience and competition within the squad," Heath said in a statement on Thursday. "With over 140 games in MLS and the ability to play on both sides, Kevin can offer versatility and depth along our back line."
Alston's 2015 salary came in at a base of $140,000, which was $40,000 less than Corey Ashe, whose spot he'll basically be taking over on the roster as depth on the back line and competition for Ramos, making him a cheaper option than re-signing Ashe -- and there's also a chance Orlando will negotiate his salary down from that $140,000.
We're just over a month away from the start of preseason, and Orlando City's offseason of additions is just beginning. Alston would be the 23rd player on the roster, as the Lions and Armando Carneiro still have plenty of work to do.