Orlando City has waived forward Bryan Rochez, the club announced late Friday night. With Rochez off the roster, the Lions have moved newly acquired striker Giles Barnes into the third Designated Player spot.
Rochez was picked up off of waivers by Atlanta United, which will pay him the league minimum $53,000 salary for 2017, while Orlando City retains the remaining chunk of his salary through the end of the season.
Rochez might end up going down as the most disappointing DPs in league history after his time with Orlando City, which saw him make just 16 appearances while scoring three goals since he arrived with at the club in late-2014. He made no appearances for the first team in 2016, only playing with Orlando City B in USL — again, in disappointing fashion, falling behind on the depth chart due to fitness issues prior to last season and never beating out Michael Cox.
The 22-year-old spent all of 2016 on loan with both OCB and then Real España in Honduras for the second half of the season.
While 265 minutes are not enough to make a final judgement on his overall career with Orlando City, it’s easily said that Rochez is full of talent that he never had the opportunity to show off because of fitness problems that just never went away. The end of the 2015 season was by far his best stretch with the club, scoring all three of his goals in three consecutive games. For Atlanta, there’s almost no risk to this move. They get a player with loads of talent for the league minimum.
Orlando City is stuck with his salary, but finally moved the dead weight off the roster — after parting ways with David Mateos and Devron Garcia — which was the most important thing in all of this.
As for Barnes, the Lions now get to save a good chunk of Targeted Allocation Money by transferring him to a DP spot. He already has one assist for Orlando City this season after being acquired in a trade on February 25. He joins Kaká and Carlos Rivas in filling the club’s Designated Player slots.