Orlando City has announced its decision on the roster status of all rostered players. The announcement included exercising the options of 12 players and declining the options of four. Another 12 players are currently under contract with the club and the Lions remain in talks with goalkeeper Brian Rowe — the only player not named directly in the team’s press release.
The announcement comes a day after the Lions announced the permanent acquisition of center back Antonio Carlos from Brazilian side Palmeiras and a contract extension for midfielder Mauricio Pereyra.
The loans of three players from the 2020 roster featured options to buy following the MLS campaign. Orlando City accepted that option with defender Rodrigo Schlegel, midfielder Andrés Perea, and forward Alexander Alvarado. The club also exercised existing options on defenders Robin Jansson, Kamal Miller, João Moutinho, Ruan, and Kyle Smith, midfielder Joey DeZart, forwards Benji Michel and Chris Mueller, and goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar.
Those players join a group that are already under contract, which includes goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, defender Michael Halliday, midfielders Jordan Bender, David Loera, Sebas Méndez, Nani, Uri Rosell, and Júnior Urso, as well as forwards Tesho Akindele, Matheus Aiás, and Daryl Dike.
“2020 was a historic season for the club, the supporters, and the city of Orlando and we are excited to continue with a large portion of our roster that made this season so successful,” Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said in a club statement. “We’re very optimistic for what the future holds for our fans and we’re ready to get back on the field to continue pushing for an MLS Cup in 2021.”
The club decided to decline options on defender Alex De John, midfielders Josué Colmán and Robinho, and forward Santiago Patiño. Those players join forward Dom Dwyer, who is out of contract and will explore free agency, as players that will not be returning in 2021.
After a successful 2020 MLS season, there are few surprises in these decisions. De John spent most of the season on the bench, while Colmán and Patiño went out on loan. Dwyer had been with the club since 2017 — his second stint, which resulted in him becoming the club’s all-time leading goal scorer in all competitions — but suffered a season-ending injury during the MLS is Back Tournament. Robinho is the biggest surprise as he actually started twice.
“I especially want to thank Alex, Josue, Robinho, and Santi for their dedication to our club over the past years,” Muzzi said. “Each one of them were important pieces to our culture and our success this past season. We look forward to continuing to follow the next steps of their careers and wish them the best of luck.
The club also stated that they are currently in negotiations with “remaining players who are out of contract,” which seemingly only means Rowe, so it appears Orlando City would like to keep him on as the backup goalkeeper to Gallese.
Post-2020 Orlando City Roster Status
(Current roster players in italics)
- Matheus Aiás - Under Contract
- Tesho Akindele - Under Contract
- Nani - Under Contract
- Alexander Alvarado - Under Contract
- Jordan Bender - Under Contract
- Antonio Carlos - Under Contract
- Josué Colmán - Option Declined
- Alex De John - Option Declined
- Joey DeZart - Option Exercised
- Daryl Dike - Under Contract
- Dom Dwyer - Out of Contract/Free Agent
- Pedro Gallese - Under Contract
- Michael Halliday - Under Contract
- Robin Jansson - Option Exercised
- David Loera - Under Contract
- Sebas Méndez - Under Contract
- Benji Michel - Option Exercised
- Kamal Miller - Option Exercised
- João Moutinho - Option Exercised
- Chris Mueller - Option Exercised
- Santiago Patiño - Option Declined
- Andrés Perea - Under Contract
- Mauricio Pereyra - Under Contract
- Uri Rosell - Under Contract
- Brian Rowe - Out of Contract/In Negotiations
- Rodrigo Schlegel - Under Contract
- Kyle Smith - Option Exercised
- Mason Stajduhar - Option Exercised
- Ruan - Option Exercised
- Júnior Urso - Under Contract
- Robinho - Option Declined