Orlando City Signs Striker Ercan Kara as Designated Player

Rapid Wien v Austria Wien - Admiral Bundesliga
Rapid Wien v Austria Wien - Admiral Bundesliga / Thomas Pichler/GettyImages

Austrian striker Ercan Kara is officially an Orlando City player. Kara arrives from Rapid Vienna in his home country and is under contract until 2024 with options for 2025 and 2026 as a Designated Player. The signing was originally reported by Manuel Veth of Transfermarkt. Kara is also the first Austrian player in Orlando City history.

Kara is the second DP signing of the window, following the arrival of Uruguayan winger Facundo Torres. While Torres is filling the void of former club captain Nani, Kara will look to replace American sensations Daryl Dike after his transfer to the English Championship. The Austrian forward is just entering his prime at 26 years old and is on the fringes of the Austrian national team with seven career appearances.

His goal record with Rapid Vienna was impressive. Over the last three seasons, Kara had 27 goals in 58 league games, 0.57 per 90 minutes. He also had 16 league assists over that same time. On top of impressive league performances, he also had six goals and two assists in continental competitions as well.

Stylistically, Kara is a fantastic replacement for Dike. He's a huge presence at 6'3" almost 200 pounds and he's incredibly strong both in the air and in hold up play. He's a player who can live in the penalty box and will be a reliable target for Orlando's playmakers. More than scoring a bunch of wonder goals, though he has some beauties on his reel, Kara's really good at moving around the 18-yard box and finding chances and goals.

This is exactly the player Orlando were missing, especially without Dike. Kara will provide a high-level finisher and penalty-box predator that the Lions need to feast offensively. With service from Torres, Silvester van der Water and Mauricio Pereyra, Kara could have a fantastic season, assuming he settles in.