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Orlando City signs Brazilian midfielder Júnior Urso

The midfielder could potentially fill the final designated player slot for the Lions.

Júnior Urso poses with a jersey on his new home field at Exploria Stadium. (Photo courtesy of Orlando City.)

Orlando City added Ocimar de Almeida Júnior — known as Júnior Urso — to its midfield on Monday, acquiring the midfielder via transfer. 

Urso’s salary will come in above the maximum salary cap for MLS, but Orlando City has not determined yet whether he will fill the team’s remaining designated player slot. The Lions will have until the league’s roster compliance date — which is typically in the first week of March — to make this decision.

“We are very excited to welcome Júnior Urso to Orlando City,” Orlando City executive vice president of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi said. “Coming from a renowned club like Corinthians, he brings a great amount of international experience to Orlando while allowing us to add more depth and a new skill set to our midfield. He possesses great vision and abilities on the ball and we expect him to make an immediate impact on our roster.”

The 30-year-old midfielder previously played for Corinthians in the Brazilian Série A, scoring five goals during 48 appearances to help the club to a Campeonato Paulista title.

He previously played for five seasons in the Chinese Super League, where he scored 14 goals during 64 matches for Shandong Luneng. He was then loaned to Atlético Mineiro in the Série A, where he netted seven goals during 48 appearances. Urso returned to China for two seasons with Guangzhou R&F, netting eight goals in 46 matches.

A native of Taboão da Serra in Brazil, Urso started his career with Santo André before transferring to Ituano. He was purchased by Avaí and loaned to Paraná Clube before joining Coritiba, where he tallied four goals over 90 appearances in two seasons.

Urso will bring an important mix to the Orlando City midfield — goal production and experience. He will join Mauricio Pereyra and Nani as veteran leaders of the midfield, while also boosting scoring for a team that has finished with a negative goal differential during all five of its MLS seasons.




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