Orlando City announces protected players list ahead of MLS Expansion Draft


Photo Courtesy of Mark Thor / Orlando City SC

Orlando City continued making offseason roster decisions on Thursday after announcing its protected-players list ahead of Friday’s MLS Expansion Draft.

How does the Expansion Draft work and how will it affect Orlando? St. Louis City SC may select up to five players from the eligible pool of players, which it can only select a single player from any one club.

Here is the list of players left protected by the Lions ahead of Friday’s draft:

  • Antonio Carlos
  • Iván Angulo
  • César Araújo
  • Alex Freeman*
  • Pedro Gallese
  • Gastón González
  • Michael Halliday*
  • Robin Jansson
  • Ercan Kara
  • Benji Michel*
  • Andrés Perea
  • Mauricio Pereyra
  • Luca Petrasso*
  • Wilfredo Rivera*
  • Ruan
  • Rodrigo Schlegel
  • Mason Stajduhar*
  • Facundo Torres
  • Thomas Williams*

Homegrown players Alex Freeman, Michael Halliday, Benji Michel, Lucas Petrasso, Wilfredo Rivera, Mason Stajduhar, and Thomas Williams are automatically protected.

Note, Pereyra is out of contract at the end of this year while Gallese and Moutinho are still in talks to renew their respective contracts with Orlando.

Unprotected Orlando players:

  • Tesho Akindele
  • Wilder Cartagena
  • Joey DeZart
  • Nicholas Gioacchini
  • Adam Grinwis
  • Jack Lynn
  • Joao Moutinho
  • Jake Mulraney
  • Alexandre Pato
  • Kyle Smith

Should a player get selected from that list, Orlando will receive $50,000 in General Allocation Money.

The Lions made a few roster moves this week, including the acquisition of Canadian left-back Luca Petrasso for $300,000 in 2023 GAM and $50,000 in 2024 GAM for Toronto FC. The club also parted ways with Brazilian midfielder Junior Urso.

The Expansion Draft on Friday will begin at 7 p.m. ET on MLSSoccer.com.

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