Orlando City end-of-year roster decisions: Pedro Gallese, Benji Michel offered new deals; Tesho Akindele ’23 option declined


Courtesy of Orlando City SC

Orlando City announced its end-of-the-year roster decisions on Monday, bringing back a heavy majority of their lineup for 2023 while parting ways with a veteran heading into the offseason.

“This was another very successful season for us as an organization, winning the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and qualifying for the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for the third-consecutive season, and now we’re gearing up to go for even more next season, both in the league and in Concacaf Champions League,” Orlando City general manager Luiz Muzzi said. “As we begin preparing our roster for the opportunities to come next year, we want to thank the players who are departing the club. Their hard work and dedication has given everyone involved in the organization so much joy and so much to be proud of.”

Let’s break down the roster heading into the 2022/23 off-season.

Who’s staying?

Orlando has 15 players under guaranteed contracts next season: Forwards Iván Angulo, Gastón González, Ercan Kara, Jake Mulraney, Wilfredo Rivera, and Facundo Torres; midfielder César Araújo; defenders Antonio Carlos, Alex Freeman, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Ruan, and Thomas Williams; and goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar.

Defender Luca Petrasso, who was recently acquired via trade with Toronto FC, is also guaranteed for 2023. 

Players with exercised option years for 2023: Forward Jack Lynn; midfielder Andrés Perea; and defenders Michael Halliday and Kyle Smith.

Wilder Cartagena, who joined the Lions last summer, had his 2023 loan option to extend exercised as well.

Potential returns

Players with Bona Fide offers heading into the offseason are Benji Michel and Pedro Gallese, both of whom are out of contract.

Last month, Muzzi told the OSJ that he’s optimistic about Gallese returning for 2023, despite contract renewal talks ongoing since the start of the year.

Mauricio Pereyra, defender João Moutinho, and goalkeeper Adam Grinwis are out of contract, but the team is also discussing a return with those respective players.

Who’s out?

The club announced last week that it mutually parted ways with Junior Urso and on Monday, the team added Tesho Akindele and Joey DeZart.

Nicholas Gioacchini was selected by St. Louis CITY FC in the MLS Expansion Draft last Friday.

Alexander Alvarado, who spent the majority of the season on loan in his native Ecuador, is expected to remain in his home county.

Alexandre Pato is also out of contract and will not return next season.

For more up-to-date stories, follow the Soccer Journal on Twitter: @OSJSoccer


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s