TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
Orlando City SC have made their first major move with the Wilf family as majority owners, signing Penarol and Uruguay national team forward Facundo Torres, the club announced Monday.
Torres, 21, joins as a Young Designated Player through 2025 (with 2026 club option) and follows in the footsteps of Penarol-to-MLS talents after Diego Rossi and Brian Rodriguez both previously joined LAFC from the Uruguayan Primera División side.
Orlando reportedly paid a $7.5 million fee with $1.5 million in bonuses to secure Torres, according to The Orlando Sentinel's Mike Gramajo.
“We’re thrilled to have Facundo join us at Orlando City. He is an exciting player with a bright future,” Orlando chairman Mark Wilf said in a release. “We will continue to work with our technical team to bolster the roster and build a championship-caliber team for our club and community.”
Before coming to Orlando, Torres had 16 goals and 15 assists in 71 appearances for Penarol, including standout performances in the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana. He also helped Penarol win a league title in 2021.
On the international stage, Torres has made 10 appearances for La Celeste, mainly coming off the bench in Copa America and Conmebol World Cup Qualifying matches.
“Facundo is a young player with a lot of potential and upside, and he is just beginning to make waves on the international stage,” said Orlando general manager and EVP of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi said in a release. “The danger that he creates on attack will be a real asset on the offensive end and we’re excited for him to step on the field in purple.”
The Lions have made two straight Audi MLS Cup Playoffs under head coach Oscar Pareja, though need to retool their offense this offseason. US men’s national team striker Daryl Dike has joined English Championship side West Bromwich Albion for a reported $9.5 million fee (plus add-ons); winger Chris Mueller is now at Scottish Premiership side Hibernian on a free transfer; and winger Nani has moved to Italian Serie A side Venezia after the club and player parted ways.
It leaves Torres primed for a key role, marking Orlando’s second Uruguayan signing of the offseason after previously landing U22 Initiative midfielder Cesar Araujo from Montevideo Wanderers FC. They’ve also brought back Designated Player Mauricio Pereyra and re-signed veteran striker Alexandre Pato for the 2022 campaign.
Currently in preseason camp, Orlando start their new campaign Feb. 27 when hosting CF Montréal.