Former Orlando City midfielder Servando Carrasco is heading home to California.
The L.A. Galaxy selected Carrasco in Stage 2 of the Major League Soccer Re-Entry Draft on Thursday. The Galaxy now must negotiate a new contract with the player.
Carrasco, 29, was born in San Diego and played four years at the University of California-Berkeley, where he met his wife, Orlando Pride and U.S. women’s national team star Alex Morgan. The couple has a home in Winter Park.
Orlando City acquired Carrasco in a trade with Sporting Kansas City in July, 2015. He re-signed a two-year contract in January, which included an option year that the club declined following the 2017 season.
Carrasco was a key role player for the Lions, providing stability off the bench and seamlessly stepping into a starting role when teammates struggled with injuries. Both former coach Adrian Heath and current Orlando City coach Jason Kreis spoke highly of Carrasco, specifically mentioning his reliability on the pitch and communication skills as a bilingual player.
He leaves the Lions having made 40 starts in 58 appearances for a total of 3,734 minutes played. He collected four assists during that time and scored his first goal in purple on April 9 when he subbed on to net the game-winner in a 1-0 result against the New York Red Bulls.
Prior to Orlando City, Carrasco played for Sporting Kansas City, the Houston Dynamo and the Seattle Sounders, where he spent three seasons under current L.A. Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid.
Following the draft, Orlando City posted a Tweet that read, “Thank you for everything in Orlando and good luck in Los Angeles, Serva!”
The MLS Re-Entry draft is for option declined and out of contract players who are not eligible for free agency. In Stage 1, teams must pick up contract options or extend a “bona fide offer” to players selected, per league rules. But in Stage 2, when Carrasco was selected, teams can renegotiate new contracts with players.
Most teams pass on the re-entry draft. Carrasco was one one of three players selected in Stage 2. D.C. United drafted former New York Red Bulls midfielder and forward Gonzalo Veron and 2018 expansion side LAFC took Calum Mallace, a former Montreal Impact midfielder.
All draft-eligible players who were not selected, including former Lions Giles Barnes and Seb Hines, are now available to all MLS teams on a first-come, first-serve basis.