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Orlando City 2024 MLS season preview

We’re taking you through Orlando's offseason action, hopes, fears, tactics & much more.

6 min read

Where we left off last year

2023 season: 63 points, 2nd in the Eastern Conference

Orlando City absolutely crushed their points record last year, finishing 12 points higher than in any of their previous MLS seasons. They also finished second in the Supporters’ Shield race, only losing out to FC Cincinnati. 

With a strong foundation of effective defenders, attacking midfielder Facundo Torres and rookie striker Duncan McGuire both reached double-digit goals. McGuire, in particular, was a smash-hit during his rookie season after being drafted out of Creighton. The 23-year-old worked his way into the U.S. men’s Olympic team picture and into a transfer (and a pay raise) across the Atlantic.

That is, uh, until things fell apart.

The extra time loss to the Columbus Crew in the Eastern Conference semis still stings, but there was a ton to like in Orlando in 2023.

What changed in the offseason

Notable arrivals:

  • Nico Lodeiro, AM: While the Sounders legend isn’t the same dynamic No. 10 that he used to be, Lodeiro was still the best and most consistent chance creator in Seattle last year. The 34-year-old isn’t a DP in Orlando. He won’t have to be an every-game starter with both Torres and Martin Ojeda capable of playing through the middle, but he will be an instant upgrade on Mauricio Pereyra.
  • David Brekalo, CB: With Antonio Carlos off to Brazil, Orlando needed another starting-caliber center back. Arriving from the Norwegian top-flight, Brekalo is a 25-year-old right-footed defender. He’s a regular starter for the Slovenian national team and will bring a well-rounded skillset to Oscar Pareja’s backline.
  • *Luis Muriel, ST: While his move to Blackburn didn’t pan out, uncertainty surrounding McGuire (courtesy of his agent) continues to swirl. By adding Muriel, Orlando are covered even if McGuire doesn’t play another minute for them. The 32-year-old Colombian was most recently a rotation option up front for Atalanta in Serie A, where he mostly put up efficient scoring and xG numbers. It doesn’t take much to imagine Muriel doing real damage in MLS.

* Deal is yet to be announced but is likely to happen.

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