Orlando City announced the signing of 23-year-old winger Iván Angulo on loan from Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras of Brazil’s Série A. The loan is for 12 months with an option for an additional six. His availability, as per usual, will depend on receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate.
“Iván is a talented and creative winger that has international experience going to the FIFA U-20 World Cup for Colombia and has played in the first division in Portugal,” Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Luiz Muzzi said in a club press release. “We believe his ability to take players one-on-one and the danger he creates down the flanks are going to be great assets for us as we push towards the end of this season.”
The native of San Andrés de Tumaco, Colombia is coming off a campaign in which he scored one goal in 32 appearances on loan with Portuguese side Portimonense in 2021-2022. In his career 65 appearances across all competitions, Angulo has produced four goals and five assists at various clubs to which he’s been loaned by Palmeiras.
Angulo started all five matches in Colombia’s run at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, scoring one goal and adding three assists. He has also represented his country at the U-23 level.
What It Means for Orlando City
To be honest, I’m feeling a little like Luke Skywalker looking at the Millennium Falcon for the first time. This signing seems a bit underwhelming, considering the Lions already have two guys playing left wing that aren’t scoring. Angulo’s career track record doesn’t instill the confidence of Muzzi’s quote above regarding the player’s talent and creativity.
With that said, I would be happy to be proven wrong when Han Solo makes the jump to light speed. This seems like an unambitious move for a team that has only two wins since May 14 — with one of those requiring an own goal in stoppage time to change from a draw to a victory. This also comes from a club that specified before the season that there was room to add a Designated Player and buy down Mauricio Pereyra if needed (and it is) and just days after shipping Sebas Mendez to an LAFC side that also just added Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini. Fans were hoping to see Cristian Arango coming back in that deal but nope...just allocation money.
The hope here, obviously, is this is just a small piece of a larger strategy and that another signing will be added. Orlando City’s offense throughout this season has struggled, and some of that was expected when trying to fit new pieces into the attack. But the final third of the season is upon us and the Lions are going the wrong direction in the standings and it seems like shutting out the opponent may be the only way for the team to claim a win recently.
Ercan Kara and Facundo Torres are obviously talented players and can score when given the opportunity, but those opportunities have been limited with Orlando’s inability to present a threat from whichever side Torres isn’t playing on. Angulo and Niko Gioacchini will present some different options, and it’s a shame that Gaston Gonzalez’s career in Orlando was put on hold due to a knee injury, but if the Lions are going to make the postseason this year, this may not be a sufficient amount of business to make that happen.
We’ll see what it looks like when Angulo and Gioacchini are added to the mix and hopefully “she’s got it where it counts, kid.”