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Orlando City Acquires Winger Jake Mulraney from Atlanta United

The Lions add depth in a much-needed position in exchange for General Allocation Money.

MLS: US Open Cup-Chattanooga FC at Atlanta United Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City added some much-needed depth in an area of need today with the acquisition of winger/midfielder Jake Mulraney from rival Atlanta United. In exchange, the Lions sent $200,000 in total Garber Bucks to the Five Stripes — $100,000 in 2022 General Allocation Money (GAM) and another $100,000 in 2023 GAM. That’s a bit less than half of what the club just acquired in the deal with the Chicago Fire for Chris Mueller’s MLS rights. If Mulraney reaches unnamed performance-based conditions, the Lions could end up sending an additional $75,000 in 2023 GAM north to Atlanta, which will also retain an unnamed portion of Mulraney’s transfer fee if Orlando City sells him.

The two teams will split Mulraney’s 2022 salary budget charge, but those amounts and percentages were not specified by the club.

“Bringing Jake to Orlando is a move that we’re excited about,” Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Luiz Muzzi said in a club press release. “We think his on-field abilities and his style of play will really complement the team we have and we’re happy to have him in purple.”

Mulraney, 26, has made seven appearances (one start) with Atlanta this season, scoring one goal on three shots in 181 minutes. The native of Dublin, Ireland joined Atlanta in 2020 and has appeared in a total of 47 MLS matches (22 starts), scoring three goals and adding four assists in 2,024 minutes. He has attempted 37 shots, putting 17 (46%) on target. He has picked up five yellow cards and has been sent off twice since coming to MLS.

Prior to transferring to Atlanta on Jan. 23, 2020, Mulraney played in Scotland for Heart of Midlothian F.C. With Hearts, Mulraney scored two goals in 38 appearances from 2018 to 2020. From 2016 to 2018 Mulraney was with Inverness Caledonian Thistle, where he made 52 appearances and scored twice. Before that, he was with Queens Park Rangers in England, but didn’t play with QPR, going on loan to Dagenham & Redbridge as well as Stevenage, making six appearances for each. He scored one goal while with Stevenage.

Mulraney came up through the Crumlin United FC academy in his native Dublin before spending a couple of seasons with Nottingham Forest’s U-18 squad. His career totals since 2016 include 186 appearances, nine goals, and 21 assists in all competitions.

On the international stage, Mulraney has represented the Republic of Ireland at the U-17, U-19, and U-21 levels. He made 14 total appearances with those youth national teams, scoring one goal (at the U-21 level).

What It Means for Orlando City

Mulraney hasn’t exactly been a prolific offensive weapon over the course of his career. Atlanta must have been eager to move him to absorb some of his salary budget hit for 2022, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a worthwhile pickup. The Lions were short of wing help entering the season and Silvester van der Water was injured late in Saturday’s win over Charlotte FC, thinning the spot even more. It’s unknown as of this writing the extent of van der Water’s injury, but the Dutchman was unable to put weight on his foot and it could be a long-term thing.

Tesho Akindele has spent time on the wing but he has been out of the lineup with a thigh injury.

The 5-foot-8 Mulraney seems to be primarily a depth addition, but it will be interesting to see where he fits into the depth chart when incorporated into Oscar Pareja’s system. While he isn’t likely to be a big contributor on the score sheet, he could be a player that will provide minutes to see out games or provide energy off the bench.