Just less than 48 hours after its season-ending playoff loss on Sunday, Orlando City has made its first big move of the offseason.
The Lions announced on Tuesday that they have executed the purchase agreement for Brazilian centerback Antonio Carlos and have additionally agreed to terms on a new three-year contract with another fourth option year.
“The presence and stability Antonio Carlos brought to our backline was a key piece of the team’s defensive success during this last season,” Orlando City EVP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said in a club release. “Negotiating a deal with Palmeiras to his rights was a key focus for us for this offseason and we are happy to get this deal not only completed, but to secure Antonio Carlos as a member of Orlando City for the foreseeable future.”
Carlos joined Orlando City on loan from Brazilian side Palmeiras last December, as the 27-year-old quickly become one of the top defenders in MLS in 2020, helping the Lions build a strong defense en route to the club’s first ever playoff appearance.
He made 26 appearances across all competitions this season, forming a strong centerback pairing with Robin Jansson and setting a formidable foundation on the backline for head coach Oscar Pareja as he continues to build a championship contender in Orlando.
Bringing back Carlos was a key move for Orlando City to make this offseason as the club retools for another shot at an MLS Cup run in 2021.
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