Major League Soccer’s transfer window is about to open on July 10 and pretty much every team in the league could use one or two additions. Orlando City SC is no different and could take this opportunity to strengthen its offense, which is in the bottom half of the league.
While it’s definitely more tempting to look at European veterans or young promising South Americans as possible new additions, CONCACAF usually provides some good and cheap talent if you do a good job scouting. With the Gold Cup just around the corner, here are three players the Lions could keep an eye on during the tournament:
The 24-year-old Costa Rican forward has already been rumored to join MLS over the last year, but ended up playing for Portuguese side Moreirense, where he scored two goals in 21 matches. His rights belong to local club Saprissa, where he recorded 20 goals in 77 matches.
At 5-foot-9, Ramírez, who also has playing experience in France, would not be the most likely backup for Cyle Larin, but he could be an option to play alongside the Canadian on Orlando’s front line or even to bring some dynamics and goal scoring from the bench.
Another forward option would be El Salvador’s Rodolfo Zelaya. At the age of 28, the striker is a staple on his national team, where he’s played since 2008, with 20 goals scored in 43 matches. He is actually signed by local club Alianza, where he amassed almost 100 goals over 200 matches.
Stories linking Zelaya to MLS have been very frequent over the last few years and the player has already made public his desire to play in the league, but the closest he got to that was training with the Philadelphia Union and FC Dallas.
With a background of 11 goals for the Honduras National Team since 2011, Antony Lozano will have to compete for playing time with two MLSers — Houston Dynamo’s Alberth Elis and Romello Quioto. He was part of his country’s roster in the last two Olympic editions.
A product from Olimpia academy, the forward amassed 47 goals in 97 matches for the Honduran club. Nicknamed ‘Choco,’ he played the last two seasons on loan at Spanish side Tenerife, where he scored 20 goals in 67 matches. Olimpia is said to be asking for $1.7 million to let Lozano leave, but the price tag seems reasonable because of his age (24).
Those are three potential players who would fit Orlando City’s needs. Who else in the Gold Cup are you keeping an eye on and who else do you think the Lions should be watching?