Orlando City/Pride Notebook: Ruan traded; Marta returns; New Designated Player; New home kit reveal date; 2023 SuperDraft picks

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Orlando City announced it traded starting right-back defender Ruan to D.C. United in exchange for the No. 2 pick ahead of Wednesday’s MLS SuperDraft.

“Ruan has been an incredibly important member of our project with the club over the last four years, and we want to thank him for all of his hard work and effort,” General Manager Luiz Muzzi said in a statement. “We wish him nothing but the very best and look forward to seeing all he achieves in this next chapter.”

Ruan joined Orlando ahead of the 2019 season and played 117 games across all competitions for the Lions. The 27-year-old signed a new 2-year contract with an option for a third year after the 2021 season.

Orlando City will select No. 2, No. 6, and No. 17 in the first round of Wednesday’s draft.

Marta Returns

Out of contract, the Orlando Pride announced Wednesday that Marta signed a new 2-year contract with allocation money used to retain the player.

The deal will see the 36-year-old player with Orlando through the 2024 season.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Marta back with the Pride. As we looked at building our roster, there was never any question that we wanted to have her continue as part of our project, not only for her abilities on the pitch but her mentality, values and leadership embody the culture we want in our locker room,” Pride coach Seb Hines said in a statement. “We know last season’s injury was a difficult one, but she has been working extremely hard toward her recovery, and we know she will have a point to prove when she returns in 2023. We can’t wait for her to add to her historic career here, in Orlando, as a member of the Pride.”

2023 MLS SuperDraft sees Lions with four picks

Orlando selected Duke University forward Shakir Mohammed with the second overall pick. The Lions selected another forward and two centerbacks with their picks to round out their night.

Read more here for the full story on the draft:

Martin Ojeda potentially joining Orlando City

After rumors rose in November, Argentinian Martin Ojeda is rumored to join Orlando City as their third Designated Player before year’s end.

The 24-year-old will sign a four-year contract with the Lions, securing his services until the end of the 2026 season.

Primary kit reveal date

Orlando City will host a series of events leading up to February’s season opener at Exploria Stadium against the New York Red Bulls.

Among them will be the reveal of the club’s new primary jersey slated for Feb. 18.

The Orlando Reginal Spelling Bee will be hosted at Exploria Stadium on Feb. 4. The annual Purple Pride 5K returns on Feb. 11 at 8 a.m.

Tesho Akindele announces retirement

Former Orlando City forward Tesho Akindele announced his retirement from professional soccer on Tuesday after a nine-year MLS career, including four years with the Lions.


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

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