Orlando City SC have parted ways with general manager of soccer operations Niki Budalic, the club announced Monday.
Budalic joined the club ahead of the 2016 season as assistant GM before being promoted by December of that year. Over the last two seasons, OCSC have posted a record of 18-37-13, failing to make the playoffs both years. Orlando set a new league record for most goals conceded in a single season this year with 74.
NEWS: Orlando City SC Parts Ways With General Manager Niki Budalic. https://t.co/f4Spd9SV1t— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) November 26, 2018
“I would like to thank Niki for these past three seasons with us and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” CEO Alex Leitão said in a media release. “We start a new year with many projects to look forward to, including strengthening our soccer operations department for the MLS and NWSL teams, opening a new training complex as well as kicking off the season with a revamped Academy structure and OCB sitting at the top of the player development pyramid in the USL League One. We welcome all 2019 has to offer with open arms and look forward to a great year with our staff, players and supporters.”
Just off the phone with an Orlando spokesperson. Notes:— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) November 26, 2018
-Budalic will be replaced
-No timeline for hiring replacement; looking to do as soon as possible
-Budalic worked w/ James O'Connor on roster decisions
-No official word on why move was made now and not at end of season
Budalic oversaw a busy offseason for the Lions, in which Sacha Kljestan, Justin Meram and Lamine Sane were all acquired. In June, the club fired head coach Jason Kreis and replaced him with James O'Connor, though their fortunes didn't change with a new boss on the touchline.