Orlando City has rewarded defender Rafael Ramos with a new two-year contract, with a "significant raise," according to Paul Tenorio of the Orlando Sentinel. The new deal includes two option years for 2018 and 2019.
Ramos made $50,000 (the MLS minimum) in 2015, according to the numbers released by the MLS Players' Union last fall. His pay raise will put him well above the MLS senior minimum, Tenorio notes.
The 21-year-old Portuguese right back started 24 of 25 games he appeared in for Orlando City last season, setting himself as one of the best young right backs in the league after joining the Lions from Benfica's youth academy in the summer of 2014. And, while he did have some disciplinary issues, Ramos showed to be a great fit in Adrian Heath's system, creating a problem for opposing teams up and down the right side.
Ramos did not score a goal in his first MLS season but did notch two assists, recorded eight shots and finished sixth on the club in minutes played (1,998).
Orlando City added veteran full back Kevin Alston this winter to challenge Ramos for the starting job, but as long as he can keep his head in the right place -- he committed only 20 fouls in 2015 but a quarter of those infractions were yellow cards or worse -- he should be among the 11 names in Heath's opening day lineup against Real Salt Lake.