Transfer Tracker

Benji Michel departs Orlando City, signs in Portugal's Primeira Liga

Benji Michel leaves ORL


Orlando City SC homegrown forward Benji Michel has left the club on a free transfer and signed with FC Arouca, the Portuguese Primeira Liga team announced Friday.

The 25-year-old former US youth international was out of contract after the 2022 season, leaving him with 15 goals and six assists in 103 regular-season games for the Lions. 

Michel was also instrumental in Orlando’s US Open Cup title victory last summer, as his super-sub performance powered their first MLS-era trophy and a place in the 2023 Concacaf Champions League. He originally signed with Orlando ahead of the 2019 campaign, having starred at the University of Portland.

Earlier this offseason, Orlando saw left back João Moutinho depart in a similar move. The Portuguese defender was out of contract, then joined Spezia in Italy’s Serie A. Others like goalkeeper Pedro Gallese and midfielder Mauricio Pereyra were out of contract, but returned on new deals.

FC Arouca are midtable in the Portuguese top flight (10th place). He’ll compete against the likes of Boavista defender Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas homegrown product) and ​​Vizela midfielder Alex Mendez (LA Galaxy academy product).