Orlando City’s busy off-season continues, as the club announced today that it has signed Dom Dwyer to a new three-year contract. ProSoccerUSA.com’s Alicia DelGallo broke the news on Twitter this afternoon. An Orlando City spokesman said Dwyer will be a Designated Player.
After spending a record amount of Allocation Money to get him last season, General Manager Niki Budalic knew he was on the clock to re-sign the MLS All-Star and USMNT forward, as his contract was slated to expire following the 2018 season. Now, the Lions have locked up their star man.
Dwyer, 27, was acquired in a trade from Sporting Kansas City on July 25 in exchange for $400,000 in General Allocation Money and $500,000 in Targeted Allocation Money, plus up to another $700,000 in Allocation Money based on performance incentives.
“We are happy to have reached an agreement that both Dom and the club can be proud of,” Budalic said in a club press release. “Bringing him here toward the end of the season was an ambitious move, and we are really pleased with how he adjusted and developed in the short months he had. Dom is a big part of this team and we are excited to see what he brings to the group this season and beyond.”
After his arrival from SKC, Dwyer scored four goals and added four assists in 12 games (11 starts), missing one game after surgery on his nose. He totaled nine goals and a career high five assists in 27 appearances (25 starts) combined between Orlando City and Sporting Kansas City in 2017.
In his six-year MLS career, Dom has 61 goals and tallied 13 assists in 140 games (122 starts). He also has played eight playoff games (five starts), scoring once.
He earned his first call-up to the United States Men’s National Team last summer for four games, scoring in his first two appearances for his country, including a Gold Cup goal against Panama in the tournament opener. He was returned to Sporting Kansas City after the Gold Cup group stage and three caps for Bruce Arena’s squad.
Dwyer scored 19 league goals (with four of those in the championship match) and three in U.S. Open Cup play for Orlando City in 2013, helping the club win its second USL Pro title with an epic 7-4 victory in the championship game. The club essentially begged for Dom to be loaned down for the title game and his club-record, four-goal MVP performance against the Charlotte Eagles cemented Dwyer’s legend in the Lions’ history.
Dom’s first stint in Orlando in 2013 included a hat trick against Antigua Barracuda FC, a goal in a friendly against Brazilian Serie A side Fluminense, and a then-record for most goals in a USL season (15 – tied with Jose Angulo of Pittsburgh). He was part of a USL and MLS championship team in 2013, as he played in the MLS Cup final for Sporting Kansas City after scoring the winning goal in the semifinals to put his team in the final. He also scored in CONCACAF Champions League play in his dream 2013 season. He finished the season on the USL’s All-League first team and scored in about every competition in North America: MLS, USL, U.S. Open Cup, CONCACAF Champions League, USL playoffs, MLS playoffs, and a friendly.
He played collegiate soccer just down I-4 at the University of South Florida for one year, where he was a 2011 MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist, NSCAA All-American Second Team selection, and the Big East Offensive Player of the Year. He led USF with 16 goals and two assists in 21 games, helping the team reach the quarterfinals of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
Prior to last summer’s transfer, Orlando City had been pursuing him essentially since making the jump to Major League Soccer. Former manager Adrian Heath was fined by the league for discussing Dwyer on his weekly call-in show in 2015. Heath said at the time that Dom wanted to come back to Orlando.
Now he appears to be staying for a while.