Orlando City SC Signs Three to Add Further Depth


Orlando City SC added depth to their roster on Monday by signing two players and acquiring a third player on loan.

With the 2015 MLS Preseason underway, some teams are adding more players to their teams despite uncertainties with a new CBA agreement. Orlando City SC announced three player acquisitions on Monday with the signings of Colombian midfielders Carlos Rivas and Cristian Higuita, and acquiring Northern Ireland National Team Striker Martin Paterson on loan.

None of these three players have MLS experience, but don’t let that fool you. Despite their age, all three have impressed with their club, and two of them have featured on their international sides.

Paterson, 27, has 22 caps and three goals at the senior level for the Northern Ireland team. Orlando City is excited to bring in a veteran striker with experience in England.

“Martin is an experienced striker who will be a valuable asset for the team and our younger players in particular,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We’re very pleased to have him with the club for our first season in MLS.”

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Midfielders Carlos Rivas and Cristian Higuita, Both have spent time with Colombian first division side Deportivo Cali. According to the team’s press release, “Rivas enjoyed his most successful professional season with Deportivo scoring 12 goals in 29 appearances in the highly competitive Colombian league.”

He signed his first professional soccer contract at 16 with Colombian side Once Caldas and the current 20-year old checks a lot of boxes for Orlando’s needs.

“We’ve had our eyes on Carlos for quite some time now,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath about the dynamic Rivas. “He ticks a lot of the boxes that we look for in players, and we believe that he’s an exciting midfielder who will certainly contribute for us moving forward.”

Higuita also played for Deportivo Cali for the last four seasons. In 2014, he played in 10 matches and scored twice. Internationally, he has featured for the Colombian U-17 and U-20 teams. His last U-20 appearance came in June 2013 when he won the Sudamerican U-20 tournament with his native country.

For Orlando, he is another young player that brings potential and skill to the new MLS side.

“We’re delighted that Cristian is joining us for the 2015 season,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “He’s another young player who we think has a tremendous upside, and we’re looking forward to working with him.”

With three new additions to the squad, Orlando City will look to find a balance of experience and youth within the side and in their starting XI. The preseason is a great chance for them to bond and grow as a team and work out different starting lineups during their preseason games.

Next: Juan Agudelo Coming Back to MLS?

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