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Orlando City Signs Goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar to New Contract

The Homegrown goalkeeper signs a new contract for three years, with a club option for an additional year.

SOCCER: AUG 12 Leagues Cup Quarterfinal - Santos Laguna at Orlando City SC Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Orlando City announced the re-signing of goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar to a three-year contract that will see him with the Lions through 2025, with a club option for 2026. Stajduhar joined the Lions as a Homegrown Player in 2015 and had his option exercised following the 2021 season. This new contract will take effect in January of 2023.

“Mason is someone who has always given his very best day in and day out and we’re incredibly excited to get him signed to this new deal,” Orlando City General Manager and Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said in a club press release. “His talent, unwavering dedication and commitment to improving everyday is something that we absolutely love and it’s just one of the many reasons that we wanted to keep Mason in Orlando for the foreseeable future.”

The 24-year-old has started one MLS game for the Lions this season, conceding one goal and making two saves against the Portland Timbers back on March 27 in a 1-1 draw on the road. Stajduhar has also started in all three U.S. Open Cup games for Orlando this year, conceding once in each game as the Lions faced the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Philadelphia Union, and Inter Miami. He was crucial in securing Orlando’s advance to the quarterfinals during the penalty shootout against Miami, stopping Bryce Duke’s attempt from the spot with a nice save. He will likely have another opportunity to impress when Orlando hosts Nashville SC on June 29 in the Open Cup quarterfinals.

Stajduhar has been with Orlando City for quite some time, playing at the youth level before signing as the club’s fourth Homegrown Player back in 2015. A bone cancer diagnosis in 2017 limited his playing time, but he made his first appearances for the club’s senior side last year as he started six games across all competitions in 2021.

What it Means for Orlando City

Keeping Stajduhar on board will maintain Orlando’s depth at the goalkeeper position for years to come. With starting goalkeeper Pedro Gallese often away on international duty for the Peruvian national team, keeping a reliable backup such as Stajduhar with the club makes plenty of sense and could pay dividends in the coming years.

Another key benefit of this decision is that it gives Stajduhar more time to develop and grow as a goalkeeper through MLS matches. Stajduhar’s recent starts in the U.S. Open Cup, and the success that Orlando has seen in those matches, will help the American gain valuable time and confidence in pressure-packed, real-time scenarios that should benefit both him and Orlando.

He’s directly behind Gallese as part of a goalkeeping unit that also includes 30-year-old Adam Grinwis and this signing could set Stajduhar up to take over as the starting goalkeeper in the future. The structure of this new contract should allow for Stajduhar to grow and gain experience in the short term as opportunities arise, while also positioning the American as the club’s future goalkeeper in the long run.