Transfer Tracker

FC Cincinnati sign Luca Orellano from Vasco da Gama

Luca Orellano - FC Cincinnati transfer


FC Cincinnati have acquired winger Luca Orellano on loan from Brazilian top-flight side Vasco da Gama, the club announced Friday.

The 23-year-old Argentine's deal at the reigning Supporters' Shield winners lasts through the 2024 MLS season with a purchase option.

"We’re thrilled to welcome Luca to the team," general manager Chris Albright said in a release.

"He’s a dynamic player who has the talent and versatility to be an important player for FC Cincinnati. His professionalism and mentality have already made a strong impression, and we look forward to his continued development."

Moving pieces

Orellano, across Vasco and boyhood side Vélez Sarsfield, has supplied 14g/17a in 143 career matches. That includes 18 games in Copa Libertadores, South America's premier club competition.

While at Vélez, Orellano was teammates with FC Cincinnati left wingback Álvaro Barreal. And he will likely fill Barreal's role after the 2023 MLS All-Star's reported loan to Brazilian top-flight side Cruzeiro.

With those moving pieces, and Santiago Arias departing this winter for Bahia in Brazil's Série A, Cincy reportedly remain in pursuit of reinforcements for head coach Pat Noonan's 3-4-1-2 formation. For now, Yuya Kubo is expected to play right wingback with Alvas Powell and Bret Halsey offering depth.

"I'm proud to join FC Cincinnati," said Orellano. "I was attracted to this club because of the project they are building, and I really want to give my 100 percent to this club and the fans. I'm very excited to meet all the supporters and play at TQL Stadium."

Zooming out

It's been a winter of change in Cincinnati, as five starters have departed from their trophy-winning 2023 side: forward Brandon Vazquez (transfer to Liga MX's Monterrey), Barreal, Arias, center back Yerson Mosquera (loan from Wolves ended) and midfielder Junior Moreno (free to Saudi's Al-Hazem).

They've largely been replaced, though, by forward Corey Baird (MLS free agency), Orellano, center back Miles Robinson (MLS free agency) and midfielder Pavel Bucha (transfer from Czech Republic's Viktoria Plzeň).

Despite the alterations, FC Cincinnati are widely viewed as contenders in 2024. Their MLS campaign begins on Feb. 25 vs. Toronto FC (2:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass), and they're favored to advance from their Concacaf Champions Cup Round One series vs. Jamaican side Cavalier FC (2-0 aggregate lead).