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Orlando City waives striker Stéfano Pinho

Orlando City forward Stefano Pinho (29) controls the ball out of the air during the second half against the Columbus Crew SC at MAPFRE Stadium. (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Update: Orlando City officially announced Stéfano Pinho was waived on Jan. 22, saying the forward’s contract was terminated by mutual agreement. 

“Stéfano is a good player who was able to transition well to MLS during his first season in the league last year, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors,” said Orlando City SC EVP of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi in a statement. “For us this decision opens an important position in our roster and gives us some added flexibility.”

Pinho posted that his “next challenge” would be with PT Prachuap F.C. in Thailand. 

Striker Stéfano Pinho is the latest player impacted by Orlando City’s offseason roster overhaul. 

A club source confirmed Pinho was waived by Orlando City on Wednesday, ending his tenure with the Lions after just one season. Pinho was under contract for 2019. 

MLS roster rules say, “clubs may waive players based on performance at any time during the MLS season. A club may waive a Semi-Guaranteed Player at any time during the regular season until 48 hours prior to the Contract Guarantee Date. A club may waive a Guaranteed or Semi-Guaranteed Player after the Contract Guarantee Date only with League approval. Clubs may not waive a player between the Roster Freeze Date and MLS Cup.” 

The Brazilian striker took to Twitter to announce his departure from the club. In his message to Orlando City’s supporters — and to those who have supported him during his time in the U.S. — he said goodbye to the country. 

Pinho, 28, joined Orlando City ahead of the 2018 season after a stellar 2017 campaign with NASL side Miami FC, during which he won the 2017 NASL Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards. He scored 17 goals and to go with four assists for Miami FC in 2017. 

He scored just two goals in league play for the Lions, though his first was a memorable one. Pinho’s first goal for Orlando City came in stoppage time of the 2018 season opener against D.C. United in Orlando City Stadium. The goal salvaged a draw for an Orlando City side playing with 10 men. 

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