Transfer season brings rumors on rumors on rumors and so we'll just keep on telling you what's out there. It's no secret that Orlando City has a relationship with Portuguese side Benfica. What you may not know is that Benfica players Ola John and Ruben Amorim have been linked with a possible move to Orlando City. Orlando Soccer Daily has gone so far as to report that City has offered Amorim a deal and is in contract negotiations.
Ola John is a 5-foot-11, 23-year-old winger who was born in Liberia and grew up in the Netherlands. He played 53 games with Benfica since 2012 (scoring three goals), with the exception of a brief loan to Hamburg, where he played eight matches in 2014. He has played with the Dutch U-17, U-19, U-21 and senior national teams, playing against England in 2012 in his first and, to date, only match with the Netherlands national team.
John scored his first three goals for Benfica during this past season, in which he made 26 appearances.
Amorim is a 30-year-old midfielder from Lisbon who has been with Benfica since April of 2008. He took over as a starter in the midfield in 2008-09 with two goals in 26 matches. New signings ate into his playing time in 2009-10, but he still played in 24 matches, scoring three goals and helping Benfica win both the league title and League Cup championship. His 2010-11 season was derailed by surgery on both knees in January. He played in only 18 games from 2010-12.
Benfica loaned Amorim out to Sporting Braga for the next two seasons, where he scored four goals in 30 games. He has played in 27 matches with Benfica the past two seasons without a goal, although he helped the club win a domestic treble in 2013-14, and saw action for Benfica II in two games last year.
He also has 14 caps with the Portuguese national team, without a goal. In the past, he's appeared with Portugal's U20 and U21 squads.
Orlando City could sure use some midfield depth with injuries sidelining Kevin Molino, Tony Cascio and Brek Shea. John is young and promising, whereas Amorim is an experienced veteran. Both could provide some help, and depth, to the Lions' depleted midfield.
However, John is shown in highlight videos on the left side. This would mean either he'd play out of position on the right (as Lewis Neal has done) or bump Carlos Rivas over to the right side. The video below shows his skill with both feet, though, so, who knows, it could be a good fit.
Amorim is also somewhat intriguing. As a holding midfielder who has regularly appeared in the player pool for Portugal's national side, he's obviously talented. But he's also been injury prone during his career. In addition to the double knee surgery of 2011, he suffered an ACL injury last August and was out of action until February. The injury apparently happened on an artificial turf field, which doesn't mean that's what caused it, but with the Lions playing in the Citrus Bowl, there are certainly red flags flying.
If the money OSD reported is accurate (somewhere in the $300K-$500K range), I think that's too costly for a 30+ injury-prone midfielder who doesn't necessarily provide the dynamic play making the club is missing with Molino out. According to Soccerway.com, Amorim has nine career goals and none since 2012-13. That's hardly encouraging from an offensive standpoint and the team seems well placed at defensive mid.
What do you think about these two potential Portuguese additions?