Oriol "Uri" Rosell - Sporting KC - in MLS action in 2014


One of the top passers in modern MLS history is on his way back to the league.

On Tuesday, Orlando City SC announced the signing of midfielder Oriol "Uri" Rosell pending receipt of his ITC and P-1 Visa. Orlando acquired the No. 1 position in the MLS allocation order from FC Dallas in exchange for $400,000 in Targeted Allocation Money to bring the returning MLS player to Orlando.

“Uri brings many attributes to our midfield. He is a proven MLS midfielder with great vision and outstanding passing abilities to contribute offensively and defensively to the team,” Orlando City SC general manager Niki Budalic said in a statement. “We’re excited to have him join the team.”

Journalist Paul Tenorio first reported on Monday evening that Rosell, a former Sporting Kansas City defensive midfielder, was close to joining Orlando with the acquisition hinging on the Lions brokering a trade with Dallas for the top allocation spot.

The Allocation Process is the mechanism used to determine which team has first priority to acquire a player listed on the Allocation Ranking List, of which Rosell is a member owing to the fact he is a former MLS player returning to the league after joining a non-MLS club for a transfer fee greater than $500,000 (Sporting KC sold him to Portuguese side Sporting CP in 2014 for an undisclosed fee). FCD sat atop the allocation order, while Orlando was sixth on the list.

A Spaniard who spent most of his youth carer in FC Barcelona's famed academy system, Rosell was a key cog in SKC's 2013 MLS Cup triumph, shielding the back line and orchestrating buildup play with impeccable distribution. A star at the base of Peter Vermes' dominant midfield from 2012-14, Rosell still sits at or near the top of several modern MLS statistical categories for passes, touches and passing accuracy, with one 2014 game at Montreal a particular masterclass.

Since departing KC in June of 2014, Rosell has played in the Portuguese leagues, mainly on loan stints at smaller clubs while remaining on Sporting CP's books.