With the MLS transfer window approaching, Orlando City is always linked with some big-name players. However, more often than not, Lions supporters are disappointed in the outcome. Could this be the year that Orlando makes headlines with an MLS superstar talent?
Below I break down some potential options, ranging from dream players to allegedly almost finalized deals. Be sure to comment on who you most want to see wearing purple.
According to reports, the Colombian midfielder could be in Orlando as soon as next week. Of course, over the years there have been many reports about players close to signing with Orlando before the deal was never finalized, so this is anything but a done deal (remember Sertic?).
Should this deal go through, Quintero may be the spark that the Lions have been missing this season as a young attacking midfielder. However, he has been on loan with two different teams in the past three seasons. Why he has not been able to break into FC Porto’s team is uncertain, but a move to MLS could be the spark needed to jump-start his career.
The Dutch midfielder’s career with Galatasaray could be over, and a move stateside could be in his best interest. He could still play in Europe, but he would not be getting many minutes on any top-tier team.
At 33 years old, he is on the downside of his career, but his five goals and 15 assists in the Turkish league still show that he has the ability to play. With Kaká in the last year of his contract and MPG possibly days away from the end of his, the Lions could potentially give Sneijder a Designated Player contract.
Rumors have been swirling around the Manchester United legend, and the most realistic ones are that he will go to Everton, China, MLS, or stay with United. My money has him staying with United, but he will not see the field often if that is the case. A move to Everton will result in a similar situation, albeit just a little more playing time. Moving to China will result in him seeing a good paycheck, but the best move in terms of minutes played and competition level is MLS. If MLS is an option, Orlando City would no doubt be in the running, especially with Cyle Larin’s years numbered in MLS.
You may be thinking, “Who in the world is this guy?!” Here is a little bio of him, but watch the upcoming Gold Cup and you will be hearing his name more often. Orlando City would need to break out the cash to land the America-Israeli, and might also need to give Saief a DP deal. While monetarily it is costly, his on-the-field production will make up for it.
A native of Panama City, FL, he is currently playing for KAA Gent in the Belgian league. The midfielder is looking to break into Bruce Arena’s USMNT squad, and a move to MLS could help him in that regard. Saief has the potential to be a top player in MLS, even though his eight goals and five assists with Gent are pretty average. At just 23 years old, he is more than worth a risk with the Lions.
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez
Would any Orlando City transfer story really be complete without Chicharito on it? The guy is always linked with Orlando, but nothing has come out more than just rumors since the team tried to sign him in 2015. Will he sign with Orlando? Probably not, but he is a name that never seems to go away.
I mean, do we need any more proof than Zlatan saying, “I am a Lion,” to prove that he is coming to Central Florida?
Realistically, the odds of landing Zlatan are much lower than Chicharito, but dreams do come true sometimes.