Orlando City announced its first roster moves of the off-season, completing three deals on Monday as the team announced it re-signed midfielder Dillon Powers and acquired fullback R.J. Allen from New York City FC and Brazilian forward Stéfano Pinho from NASL side Miami FC.
To acquire Allen’s rights, the Lions have sent their 2018 MLS SuperDraft third-round pick to the Pigeons. The fullback had his contract option declined by NYCFC three weeks ago.
“We’ve began adding pieces to the roster ahead of the 2018 campaign,” Orlando City SC General Manager Niki Budalic said in a statement released by the club. “Allen and Powers bring strong MLS experience to the group, while Pinho is a good striker that can play in multiple positions and has excelled in three NASL seasons.”
Allen, 27, will reunite with Head Coach Jason Kreis, for whom he played in New York in 2015. Capable of playing in both right and left back, the New Jersey native played for NYCFC from 2015 to 2017, amassing 55 games (44 starts), one goal and 11 assists during his tenure with the club. Before his arrival in MLS, he played for Denmark’s Skive IK in 2013.
Pinho, 26, signed with Orlando City after he scored the three goals that knocked the Lions out of the 2017 U.S. Open Cup in the 3-1 defeat to Miami FC. The forward repeats the path of fellow Brazilian and former teammate Victor ‘PC’ Giro, who joined the club this season after helping to eliminate Orlando City from the 2016 edition of the tournament.
In 2017, Pinho had a prolific season, scoring 17 goals in 27 NASL matches and taking home both the league’s Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards. He also won the league’s Golden Boot in 2015 and was NASL MVP in 2015 and 2017. A green card holder, he will not occupy an international spot on Orlando’s roster.
Powers, 26, was acquired in an August trade with the Colorado Rapids. The Texas native played six games for the Lions, with four starts, and logged 345 minutes in the team’s 2017 MLS campaign. The 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year has played 145 MLS matches (122 starts), scoring 14 goals and adding 26 assists.