TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
Orlando City SC have signed forward Ercan Kara as a Designated Player from Austrian Bundesliga side Rapid Vienna, the MLS club announced Wednesday.
Kara, 26, joins on a three-year contract through 2024 with club options in 2025 and 2026.
“We are very excited to secure Ercan as another strong attacking presence for the club,” Orlando City chairman Mark Wilf said in a release. “He strengthens our lineup and will help us take another step toward winning championships in Orlando.”
Kara gives the Lions a center forward after they transferred US men’s national team striker Daryl Dike to English Championship side West Bromwich Albion earlier this January. Dike departed on a reported $9.5 million fee with performance-based bonuses and Orlando earning 20% of any future sale.
Since joining Rapid Vienna in January 2020, Kara has 37 goals and 19 assists across 84 appearances between Austria’s top flight, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches.
“Acquiring Ercan is a great move for us and we’re really happy to get him to Central Florida,” Orlando City general manager and EVP of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi said in a release. “His size and strength make him a great target for us inside the box, but his skills make him a threat from outside as well. We think his versatility up top is going to open a lot of opportunities for us in attack.”
Internationally, Kara has one assist across seven caps for Austria. He’s a key part of their Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign, with Austria in Europe’s qualifying playoff pool.
Kara is Orlando’s second major attacking signing this week after they landed Uruguay international Facundo Torres as a Young Designated Player, securing him from Penarol through 2025 with an option for 2026. Kara, Torres and Uruguayan playmaker Mauricio Pereyra are Orlando's three DPs entering the new campaign.
The Lions, having made two straight Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, open their 2022 season Feb. 27 when hosting CF Montréal.