As rumors swirl about Orlando City adding one midfielder, it appears the club has agreed to terms with a current one.
Defensive mid Servando Carrasco, whose contract expired after the 2016 season and who was left unprotected for the 2016 MLS Expansion Draft, will sign a new deal with the club, according to a story by Orlando Sentinel writer Alicia DelGallo.
Carrasco, 28, played in a career-high 31 games in 2016, starting 21 – also a career high. The San Diego native was acquired in a trade with Sporting Kansas City on July 20, 2015 in exchange for Amobi Okugo. Carrasco has played in 43 games (31 starts) over his season and a half with the Lions, notching four of his five career assists.
The emergence of Carrasco allowed the Lions to trade Darwin Ceren to the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for attacking midfielder Matias Perez Garcia just before the end of the summer transfer window. Carrasco’s work rate and passing ability kept him in the lineup and helped the Lions get through injury absences of both Ceren and Higuita in 2016.
The Mane Land staff gave Carrasco a composite grade of 5.5 for the 2016 MLS season.
He keeps busy with his effort, passes with a level head and is capable of springing speedsters Hadji Barry and Carlos Rivas with his accuracy passing deep.
Orlando City’s defensive midfield currently includes Carrasco, high-priced Italian import Antonio Nocerino — who started the year slowly but came on strong in the second half — young Colombian Cristian Higuita, and Tony Rocha, who began the 2016 season with Orlando City B before the Lions acquired his MLS rights in the summer transfer window. In addition, DelGallo reported yesterday that the club is close to signing former Toronto FC, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake and Chicago Fire midfielder Will Johnson.
With that many defensive midfielders, it would seem logical to assume someone is on their way out, particularly if Jason Kreis switches the formation to his well-known 4-4-2 diamond.