Orlando City announced the acquisition of Argentinian center back Rodrigo Schlegel on loan from Racing Club this afternoon. Schlegel joins the club on a one-year loan with an option to buy after the 2020 MLS season.
Schlegel joins the Lions from Racing Club of Argentina’s Primera División, the top division in the country. He was elevated from the club’s U-20 team to its second team, Racing Club II in 2017. In July of 2018, he made his senior team debut.
“We are very happy to add Rodrigo to our roster for 2020,” Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said in a club press release. “He helps bring some depth to our back line as well as some added experience after coming through one of Argentina’s top clubs. As a club, we are very excited to see what he will accomplish this season.”
In his short time with the first team, Schlegel played in five league games. Four of those games came during the 2017-18 season and one this year. He made an additional appearance in this year’s Copa Sudamericana against Brazilian club Corinthians, playing all 90 minutes.
While playing for Racing’s first team, Schlegel helped the team to a Primera División title and its first Trofeo de Campeones de la Superliga Argentina — that country’s super cup.
Reports out of Argentina last week stated that Schlegel was looking for a new club, having not fit into the plans of Edaurdo Coudet or Sebastián Beccacece, who is set to take over the team next year. During the summer, Racing was in discussions with C.D. Tondela in Portugal about a similar loan deal. However, Racing was not willing to loan the player for free as C.D. Tondela wanted. That seems to have changed as Orlando City will be receiving the player for free with an option to buy.
While the Lions have made some additions to the midfield, they’ve done little to address the departures of center backs Shane O’Neill and Lamine Sané. Schlegel’s arrival provides some depth at that position, which right now features Alex De John, Robin Jansson, and Kamal Miller, although we expect an announcement soon about the signing of Antonio Carlos.