Orlando City is only days away from the start of preseason, and there are still way too many holes in the roster for anyone to be comfortable. That doesn’t mean things aren’t happening, it just means that in typical Orlando City fashion, we’re not hearing very much. The club has a tendency to drop news of these signings at the most inconvenient times, but we’ll take what we can get when we can get it.
In regards to the lack of signings by the club, you’ll remember that last week I wrote:
The very fact that I wrote about all of this nearly ensures that much of it will be resolved within days...
And sure enough, barely 24 hours passed before Orlando City signed César Araújo. I was wrong on how much would be resolved, but at least there was one signing. Araújo is a good pickup after the departures of Raul Aguilera Jr. and Uri Rosell. He will be a good option in the defensive midfield to back up Sebas Mendez and to potentially develop and sell.
I know that the idea of being a selling league bothers some people, but I disagree. Unless you’re a top league like the English Premier League, La Liga, or Serie A, you are a selling league. Heck, even some teams in those leagues are selling clubs for the bigger clubs. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and frankly can be a successful way to run a club in MLS.
If a club can pick up the younger talent from the various Americas, develop that talent, and sell it on for a profit, that is just good business. It also becomes a bit of a self-sustaining model. The club takes the money from that sale, goes out and gets the next up-and-coming talent, develops it, sells the player, and so on. Embrace it. You’ll be happier and more content if you do.
When the Facundo Torres negotiations seemed to stall, it was Argentinian winger Gastón González who looked like the next likely signing. Now, just like with the Torres negotiation, it seems that Unión de Santa Fe is holding out for more money from Orlando City. The reported deal proposed was $2 million for the winger, but Unión is asking for $3 million (you may need Google Translate at that linked story). The club seems to think that González will garner more attention from bigger European clubs after another season in the Argentine Primera División. This story reads almost the same as the Torres saga, but there’s no way to know if it will end the same.
We are still waiting to hear on the official signings of Torres and Alexandre Pato. Many sources, including those I have personal contact with, are assuring me that Torres is just waiting on paperwork to be delivered for it to all get done. I think it will happen, but I just can’t come out and say so with certainty until I actually get the official word from the club. It’s not a lack of trust in these sources, it’s just that sometimes weird things happen, especially when there’s already been this much delay and drama.
As for Pato, the man himself seems to be taunting us on social media.
Did the pen run out of ink? Did he receive the Declaration of Independence from Nicolas Cage instead of the contract? What is going on, and why has it been four days since this was posted? He looks ready to sign to me, Orlando City front office. He literally has a pen in his hand. Bring it home already.
Now we continue to wait and see whether the club is able to get any of these additional signings across the line.