The Lions filled a much needed hole to their backline by announcing on Wednesday the signing of Argentine left back Emmanuel Mas through the 2021 season with a club option for 2022.
“We are really happy to welcome Emmanuel to Orlando and are excited about the experience and technical skill that he’ll add to our team at this crucial point in the season,” Orlando City EVP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said in a statement. “Our goal as a club is to win titles and we believe the move to bring in a high-caliber player like Emmanuel is another step towards that end.”
Mas will officially join Orlando once his paperwork is completed P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate), but has been training with the club earlier this week.
Mas, 32, joins Orlando City on a free transfer after his contract with Argentine giant Boca Juniors expired earlier this month.
The signing comes at a pivotal time, with Orlando looking to return to the playoffs and hopefully win its first silverware in MLS, Mas adds much-needed depth to Oscar Pareja’s backline which has been shorthanded at their outside back position for much of the season.
With João Moutinho and Ruan still dealing with lower-body injuries since the start of the season, Mas adds relief to the club’s regular outside back in Kyle Smith and homegrown Michael Halliday.
Orlando City Roster (30 players)
Goalkeepers (3): Pedro Gallese, Mason Stajduhar (HG), Brandon Austin
Defenders (10): Kyle Smith, Ruan, João Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Antonio Carlos, Michael Halliday (HG), Rio Hope-Gund, Thomas Williams (HG), Emmanuel Mas
Midfielders (8): Oriol Rosell, Jhegson Sebastián Méndez, Andrés Perea, Mauricio Pereyra (DP), David Loera (HG), Júnior Urso, Joey DeZart, Raul Aguilera Jr (HG)
Forwards (9): Nani (c, DP), Chris Mueller, Tesho Akindele, Benji Michel (HG), Daryl Dike, Alexander Alvarado, Alexandre Pato, Silvester van der Water, Wilfredo Rivera (HG)
DP – Designated Player
HG – Homegrown Player
Out on Loan
Jordan Bender (HG) – Full season loan to Charlotte Independence (USL-C), right to recall
Matheus Aiás – Loaned to Real Oviedo (Spain) until June 30, 2022 with an option to purchase
Derek Dodson – Loaned to Hartford Athletic for 2021 USL Championship season, right to recall
Primary Transfer Window: Wed., March 10 – Tues., June 1, 2021
Secondary Transfer Window: Wed., July 7 – Thurs., August 5, 2021
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