Orlando City announced today that Brazilian right back Ruan has signed a new two-year contract with an option for a third year. The club exercised the defender’s option from his first contract after his initial two-year deal expired following the 2021 season. The new agreement will keep the starting right back in Orlando through the 2023 or 2024 MLS season.
“We are very happy to have Ruan continue as a member of our club,” Orlando City Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said in a club press release. “In his time here, Ruan has continued to solidify his importance amongst our roster and showcased his ability both on his defense and in the attack. We are excited to see all that he will accomplish as he continues to grow with us.”
The 26-year-old Brazilian has made 80 appearances (72 starts) in all competitions in his first three years with the club. He’s accumulated two goals and 13 assists in that time. This past season, Ruan made 24 appearances (21 starts) and recorded 1,888 minutes. He scored two goals and assisted four times. He had 13 interceptions defensively and won 88.9% of his duels. On the attacking end, he completed 82.5% of his passes in league play and had 16 crosses.
Ruan initially joined Orlando City from Ponte Preta for the 2019 MLS season. The club subsequently exercised its option to purchase the defender outright and signed him to a two-year contract with a third-year club option.
What It Means for Orlando
Ruan was already going to remain with the Lions for the 2022 season after the club picked up his option for this coming season. However, this announcement keeps the Brazilian in Orlando for a few years longer. The deal ensures that the Lions will keep most of its defensive unit together for at least a couple more years as Pedro Gallese, Robin Jansson, and Antonio Carlos are all still under contract and the club picked up its option on left back Joao Moutinho.
Ruan’s speed down the flanks is an important part of the Orlando City attack, allowing Oscar Pareja’s side to play a bit of a modified three-man back line at times. He also has the pace to get back defensively to break up play coming from behind. That will continue to be part of Orlando’s on-field identity for the next couple of years at least.