Orlando City announced the club has acquired midfielder Oriol “Uri” Rosell from Portuguese side Sporting CP, pending receipt of his ITC and P-1 Visa. The Lions traded $400,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) to FC Dallas to move up to the No. 1 position in the MLS Allocation Ranking Order to facilitate the transaction, further splashing the Garberbucks in a busy off-season — and week, for that matter.
Orlando was sitting in the No. 6 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order but made the move to grab Uri. Why was Rosell an allocation player? Well, the MLS Allocation Ranking List consists of select U.S. Men’s National Team players, elite youth U.S. National Team players and former MLS players returning to MLS after joining a non-MLS club for a transfer fee greater than $500,000.
Paul Tenorio broke the news of Rosell’s impending signing last night.
“Uri brings many attributes to our midfield,” General Manager Niki Budalic said in a club press release. “He is a proven MLS midfielder with great vision and outstanding passing abilities to contribute offensively and defensively to the team. We’re excited to have him join the team.”
Just 25, Rosell is a product of FC Barcelona academy La Masia. He signed with the Leões in July 2014 from Sporting Kansas City. He made four Taça de Portugal Placard appearances to help Sporting win Portugal’s domestic cup in 2014-2015 and made 22 total appearances with Sporting in all competitions, including one in the UEFA Champions League and one in the Europa League. Rosell spent the last three seasons on loan with first-tier sides Vitória Guimarães SC, CF Belenenses and Portimonense SC, making 39 overall appearances and scoring one goal.
While with Sporting Kansas City from 2012-2014, Rosell played a key role in that club’s 2013 MLS Cup championship, making 31 appearances, scoring one goal, and adding two assists in the regular season, and featuring in five MLS Cup playoffs games. Additionally, he made six appearances in the CONCACAF Champions League in 2013-2014. In all, Rosell played 57 games with SKC, posting two goals and two assists.
Rosell, a native of Puig-Reig, Spain, entered La Masia in 2006 at age 14, making his professional debut with FC Barcelona B six years later, in January 2012. He also has one international cap with the Catalonia national team.
As I mentioned in last night’s story, Rosell is a proven MLS talent at defensive midfield. He is a ball winner who can pick out pinpoint cross-field passes, and is adept at linking the defense to the attack (click the link in the previous sentence to see highlights).
This is another significant investment by the club in an effort to completely revamp the roster. Every position on the field has now been addressed in the off-season except center back, and that is a need that both Jason Kreis and Budalic have pointed to in interviews. While the Lions have been linked to multiple defenders since MLS Cup, nothing has felt close so far.
But stay tuned. This week has been nuts.