Orlando City coach Óscar Pareja hints at “Possible” new players before start of the season


With less than three weeks to the start of the 2020 Major League Soccer season, Orlando City head coach Óscar Pareja hinted at possible arrivals to his squad before the start of the regular season. 

“It’s possible, but we want to select the right player because the players that are already here are working well,” Pareja said in his native Spanish before Friday’s training session at Exploria Stadium. “So if we decide to bring in a player, he has to be indicated. If not, we wait and continue with the players that we have.”

The MLS primary transfer window opens on Feb. 12 and will run through May 5. The Lions will have to be roster compliant on Feb. 28 — the day before they open up the 2020 campaign against Real Salt Lake at Exploria Stadium on Feb. 29.

The second transfer window opens from July 7 to Aug. 5.

“You know, coaches, we’re greedy — we want more every day,” Pareja added in English when asked if he expects new players in the coming week.

“If we can bring better players, it’s our job to do that. But at the moment, I recognize mine are the ones I want, and the ones that I have in the locker room today are the ones that are working hard and I have to respect that and try to make things happen with them,” he added.

“If somebody comes, he will be welcomed. If nobody comes, we will fight with the players that we have that they are recognizing players and they’re good.”

Orlando City was reportedly linked to a pair of forwards before the start of preseason, but those plans fell through when German Cano opted to sign with Brazilian side Vasco da Gama and Colombian attacker Alex Castro left Deportivo Cali for Liga MX club Cruz Azul.

The Lions brought in seven new players for this upcoming season and re-signed four players to new contracts: Mason Stajduhar, Ruan, Oriol Rosell and Alex De John.

But Pareja was more expressive in Spanish when it came to the topic of bringing in new players, saying that he believes in the current group of players that he has.

“Right now we believe in what we have,” he said. “I think it’s important that we have faith that things are going to come out OK, but we always welcome one, two, three players who can be of service and help us. But as of today, as the leader of this project, I have confidence in these players who are working hard.”

“Players who have done well in previous seasons with other clubs. So they’re indebted and they realize that with this franchise and together we can change the story. We’re waiting and following the process from there and wait to see if there’s another player who will be welcomed.”

(Photo by Mike Gramajo / Orlando Soccer Journal

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