Former FC Dallas vice president of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi has been at the helm of player decisions for Orlando City, a league source confirmed to Pro Soccer USA.
Muzzi hasn’t officially been announced as Orlando City’s replacement for former general manager Niki Budalić, who was fired in November, but the club has made roster moves since the end of the season. Pro Soccer USA confirmed Muzzi’s hiring last week.
FC Dallas, however, continues to deny Muzzi is leaving the club.
When asked about Muzzi’s departure, FC Dallas vice president of communications Gina Miller told Pro Soccer USA, “This isn’t true.”
However, a league source told Pro Soccer USA FC Dallas is hesitant to confirm Muzzi’s departure until the club can announce his replacement.
Muzzi was named vice president of soccer operations for FC Dallas in September. According to FC Dallas, he speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and French. He was promoted after Technical Director Fernando Clavijo stepped away from FC Dallas “to focus on his personal health,” according to the club.
Since the end of the season, Orlando City has dealt left back Mohamed El-Munir, centerback Amro Tarek, left back/midfielder Victor “PC” Giro and versatile midfielder Tony Rocha. For those four players, the Lions received a host of 2019 draft picks and the 2018 No. 1 overall pick, João Moutinho, in return from various clubs.
The Lions also acquired forward Tesho Akindele from FC Dallas in exchange for $150,000 in allocation money over two seasons.
Orlando City has the second pick in Wednesday’s MLS Waiver Draft, which starts at 4 p.m. The waiver draft includes players who are not eligible for re-entry or free agency and either are out of contract and have not been issued a genuine offer or have not had their 2019 options exercised.
Arman Kafai contributed to this report.