Orlando City SC acquires defender RJ Allen from New York City FC in exchange for Orlando’s 2018 MLS SuperDraft third-round pick; signs forward Stéfano Pinho, who was most recently with North American Soccer League side Miami FC, and re-signs midfielder Dillon Powers.
“We’ve began adding pieces to the roster ahead of the 2018 campaign,” Orlando City SC General Manager Niki Budalic said. “Allen and Powers bring strong MLS experience to the group, while Pinho is a good striker that can play in multiple positions and has excelled in three NASL seasons.
”Allen, 27, joins the Lions following three years at NYCFC, where he played under Lions coach Jason Kreis in 2015. The fullback started 42 of his 53 regular season appearances for NYCFC since 2015, scoring one goal and adding 11 assists. This season, Allen started 10 of his 15 regular season appearances, registering three assists. In 2016, Allen made a career-high 24 appearances and his six assists were tied for the most in the league by a defender. Allen also started both of NYCFC’s playoff games in 2016.
The New Jersey native was drafted by Chivas USA in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft and began his professional career with Skive IK in the Danish second division in 2013. Allen made 82 starts from 2008 to 2011 at Monmouth University, scoring seven goals and adding 23 assists.Pinho, 26, joins the team following a successful campaign with Miami FC, claiming his second NASL Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards. This season, Pinho led the league with 17 goals in 27 NASL appearances and added four goals in the U.S. Open Cup, including a hat-trick in a 3-1 win over the Lions in the fourth round.
The Minas Gerais, Brazil, native joined the NASL in 2015 with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, along with City fullback PC, and won the NASL Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards after leading the league with 16 goals and seven assists. The striker also featured for Minnesota United in 2016 prior to their MLS arrival, registering five goals in 25 appearances. Pinho grew through the youth ranks of Brazilian side Fluminense, spending 10 years with the Tricolor and other clubs on loan spells. Pinho will not occupy an international roster slot as he is a Green Card holder.
Powers, 26, was originally acquired on July 25 in a trade with the Colorado Rapids and re-signs with City after making four starts among six appearances for the Lions. The Plano, Texas, native played five years for the Rapids, scoring 14 goals and 26 assists in 139 regular and postseason appearances. Powers was named MLS Rookie of the Year in 2013.