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Orlando City Announces Signing of Gaston Gonzalez

The long-reported deal became official today but the Argentine winger starts his career in Orlando on the season-ending injury list.

Racing Club v Union - Copa de la Liga 2022 Photo by Rodrigo Valle/Getty Images

The signing of Gastón González was made official today by Orlando City after months of rumors and media reports took all the mystery out of the 20-year-old becoming a Lion this season. González joins Orlando City from Club Atlético Unión de Santa Fe in Argentina’s Primera División as an MLS U22 Initiative player, signing through the 2024 season with club options for the 2025, 2026, and 2027 seasons, pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate.

Unfortunately, González begins his career as a Lion on the season-ending injury list after sustaining an ACL injury against Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro on April 19. His arrival in Orlando is expected following his surgery and a timetable for his return to action will be subject to a subsequent medical evaluation after the procedure.

“Following Gastón’s unfortunate injury we were able to restructure our deal for him to join the club,” Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Luiz Muzzi said in a club press release. “For us now, Gastón’s recovery is what is most important and we will give him all the necessary resources to come back healthier and stronger. Although we are saddened by the circumstances delaying his on-field arrival, injuries are a part of the game and we’re very excited about having him here, his future with us and we look forward to him joining the team when fully healthy.”

The young winger spent a season with Unión’s reserve side before joining the senior side, where he’s scored seven times in 44 appearances since 2019. In all competitions, he has scored eight goals and chipped in seven assists in 58 games played. That includes experience in top competitions like Copa Sudamericana and Copa Diego Armando Maradona.

What It Means for Orlando City

It is disappointing that González won’t be able to help the Lions in 2022 and the club will hope he can return to training early enough to minimize his injury’s impact on the 2023 season. It’s probably safe to assume that Orlando City was counting on his availability to help the squad this season prior to his injury and my unofficial sources have indicated that was the case.

The Santa Fe, Argentina native is part of the youth movement and the club’s forward-thinking approach for the future. Although details of the deal were not disclosed, it’s likely a good thing that Orlando City was able to restructure the original deal. With González potentially in Orlando through 2027, the Lions are making a long-term commitment to a young player in whom they apparently believe.

For now, we’ll simply have to wait and see what González can do for Orlando City beginning next year and hope that all goes well with his recovery.

Here are some highlights to salivate over while we wait.