Just 12 hours after first landing in Orlando, Dom Dwyer was out at Orlando City Stadium, checking out his new home. Dwyer, who joined the club yesterday for an MLS record fee, was all smiles today as he toured the stadium, spoke to the media and even put his mark on the players’ tunnel.
As the press conference opened up, CEO Alex Leitão spoke on just how difficult it was to get Dwyer to Orlando. “I’ve been [involved] in the process of acquiring a franchise, and this was much more complicated, honestly, because it’s something that never happened between two clubs in the league,” Leitão said. “This just shows the growth of the league, where we are right now and I’m pretty sure other deals will happen between clubs in the near future, which is great for the league.”
Dwyer, who scored 22 goals through all competitions in 2013 while on loan to Orlando City, said that after he left the city following the championship game that year, there was still something he needed to do in the city.
“The moment I left Orlando in 2013, I definitely felt like I left something here. I still felt like I had some unfinished business,” Dwyer said. “Now, the club’s evolved and it’s a new place, it’s a new team. I’m excited to play with a lot of the players here, and it’s time to try to bring a championship to Orlando.”
Dwyer, who has worn the number 14 in the past and 9 in 2013 in Orlando, chose 18 as his new number. “Because 14 wasn’t available,” Dwyer said. “I actually had a little selection yesterday, there was a few choices, and I decided 18 is a good number. I’m pretty sure Molino beat my record in that jersey, so maybe I’ll get it back.”
Former OCSC midfielder Kevin Molino, of course, wore No. 18 in Orlando for years.
Dwyer is currently on the last few months of his current contract, which will run out in December, although there is a club option for 2018. To this point, nothing has been decided on future negotiations with Dwyer and Orlando, but Dom seemed confident that the two sides can come to an agreement.
“It’s something that’s dealt with outside, agents and stuff will deal with that,” Dwyer said. “Right now, I’m really focused on playing. I’m trying to work hard and perform well for this team, and if that’s something the club wants to do, of course I’m very open to that. I think that they traded a lot for me, so I assume I’m in their long-term goals. I hope so, anyway.”
Watch the full press conference below: