Orlando City is finalizing a deal to bring back club captain and attacking midfielder Mauricio Pereyra on a non-Designated Player contract according to MLSSoccer.com's Tom Bogert.
If Orlando is able to get Pereyra over the line on a non-DP contract, that'd be a massive windfall for the Lions. Pereyra is among the best players to ever play for the club and still and extremely effective option in midfield.
While he doesn't put up elite counting stats, his technical ability, tactical knowledge and leadership make him a massive part of this team's core. Being able to retain the captain's services bodes well for a team that wants to improve on this past season and push for a serious run at MLS Cup.
Not only bringing back Pereyra, but getting him back not on a DP contract is the biggest part of this news from Bogert. Opening up a new Designated Player spot is what Orlando City desparetly needed to do to take the next step as a team.
While the squad as constructed is strong, the Lions need another genuine star to partner with Facundo Torres. While Pereyra and striker Ercan Kara are worthy co-stars, Orlando needs to bring in a genuine star to partner with the Uruguayan talisman on the wing.
Bringing in a dominant midfielder, either a game-controlling deep midfielder or a electric creative attacking presence, would overhaul Orlando's potential offensively and help unlock the frontline, especially Kara, who had a decent but not excellent season in the City Beautiful.
From an emotional aspect, keeping Pereyra feels excellent for fans. Pereyra is the first Orlando City captain to lead the team to silverware at the MLS level, lifting the US Open Cup this past season, and he's been a vital piece to the club's revival under Oscar Pareja.
It seems as if Pereyra's back in the fold for another spin in Orlando, and with his new roster designation, the team can build a title contender with him.