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Report: Orlando City to Hire FC Dallas VP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi

The former Director of Soccer for Traffic Sports would fill the void left by Niki Budalic’s departure.

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Orlando City SC Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report by ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle, Orlando City is set to hire FC Dallas Vice President of Soccer Operations, Luiz Muzzi, as Niki Budalic’s replacement. Budalic was let go early last week and OCSC has worked quickly to fill the position.

Muzzi worked closely with former FC Dallas Technical Director Fernando Clavijo from 2012 until September, when the Brazilian was promoted after Clavijo was forced to step away from the club. Dallas President Dan Hunt said in a press release at the time of Muzzi’s promotion that:

“Luiz has been an important part of [the FC Dallas] technical staff for the last six years. [Muzzi and Clavijo] played a key role in bringing players such as Abel Aguilar, Pablo Aranguiz, Santiago Mosquera, Anton Nedyalkov, Marquinhos Pedroso and Reto Ziegler to FC Dallas this season.”

Carlisle also credits Muzzi with assisting in the signings of South American talent such as Mauro Diaz, Michael Barrios and Carlos Gruezo.

The 49-year-old Brazilian has worked closely with South American clubs for nearly two decades, working as the Director of Soccer for Traffic Sports USA in Miami from 2003-2012. While there, he oversaw player strategy and worked with clubs like Estoril Praia in Portugal and Brazilian outfit Desportivo Brasil. Muzzi also has a history of working as a General Manager, occupying that role for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers (now Miami FC) from 2005-2010 in conjunction with his responsibilities with Traffic.

With his fluency in multiple languages, relationships in South America, as well as his history working in both MLS and Floridian soccer, Muzzi could provide a boost the Orlando City front office has been lacking and would fit the bill in completing the club’s biggest off-season priority. If Orlando City completes the deal, Muzzi would have the task of assisting Head Coach James O’Connor in reshaping the Lions roster ahead of the 2019 campaign, attempting to right the ship after four straight years of missing the playoffs. He would also be tasked with serving in the same role with the NWSL Orlando Pride.