Orlando City announced today the status of club contracts for the MLS side, with 11 players departing the club following a disappointing 2017 season. Additionally, center back Léo Pereira’s loan spell expired at the end of the regular season, making it a total of 12 roster players from 2017 not returning next year.
Of course, some of those players may end up renegotiating deals and returning later.
Following the team’s final game of the MLS schedule, Head Coach Jason Kries indicated that several players would not return.
“I’m not going to lie and say Ricky (Kaká) will be the only one who won’t be back next year,” said Kreis in his postgame presser. “That’s part and parcel of professional sports and being part of a team that’s not successful.”
The contract options of first-team regulars Antonio Nocerino, Servando Carrasco, Dillon Powers, and Giles Barnes were not exercised by the club. Additionally, Seb Hines and Hadji Barry, who spent most of the 2017 season with OCB, the club’s USL side, also saw their options not exercised, as did backup goalkeeper Josh Saunders and defender Conor Donovan. Donovan spent the entire year at OCB.
The contracts of defenders Kevin Alston and Devron García, as well as midfielder Kaká, expired and were not extended, though the latter was the only one who played a role on the first team this season.
The longest-serving players released were Nocerino, who appeared in 52 games, Carrasco, who appeared in 58 games, Hines, who appeared in 55 games, and Kaká, who appeared in 75 games but announced his plans to depart prior to the end of the season.
The club had just re-signed Hines, Alston, and Carrasco following the 2016 season, after Carrasco’s contract ran out and Hines and Alston had their options declined.
The club did exercise the options of goalkeeper Earl Edwards, Jr., defenders Rafael Ramos and Tommy Redding, midfielders Cristian Higuita and Tony Rocha, and forwards Dom Dwyer, Cyle Larin, and Carlos Rivas.
The remaining players — goalkeepers Joe Bendik and Mason Stajduhar, defenders Scott Sutter, Jonathan Spector, José Aja, Donny Toia, and PC, midfielder Will Johnson, Yoshimar Yotún, Richie Laryea and Pierre Da Silva — are still under contract with the club, giving Orlando City 19 players currently signed for 2018.
The Lions got off to a hot start in 2017, winning six of their first seven games, but only won four of their final 27 matches. That stretch saw six two –game losing streaks and no consecutive wins.
Post-2017 Orlando City Roster Status
(Current roster players in italics)
- José Aja - Under contract
- Kevin Alston - Out of contract
- Giles Barnes - Option not exercised
- Hadji Barry - Option not exercised
- Joe Bendik - Under contract
- Servando Carrasco - Option not exercised
- Pierre Da Silva - Under contract
- Conor Donovan - Option not exercised
- Dom Dwyer - Option exercised
- Earl Edwards, Jr. - Option exercised
- Devron García - Out of contract
- Cristian Higuita - Option exercised
- Seb Hines - Option not exercised
- Kaká - Out of contract
- Will Johnson - Under contract
- Cyle Larin - Option exercised
- Richie Laryea - Option exercised
- Antonio Nocerino - Option not exercised
- Victor “PC” Giro - Under contract
- Léo Pereira - Loan expired
- Dillon Powers - Option not exercised
- Rafael Ramos - Option exercised
- Tommy Redding - Option exercised
- Carlos Rivas - Option exercised
- Tony Rocha - Option exercised
- Josh Saunders - Option not exercised
- Jonathan Spector - Under contract
- Mason Stajduhar - Under contract
- Scott Sutter - Under contract
- Donny Toia - Under contract
- Yoshimar Yotún - Under contract