Orlando City’s acquisition of goalkeeper Nick Rimando from the Seattle Sounders earlier this week will be a big boost to the team’s goalkeeping situation, but the team also has to weigh the financial impact on their own back line.
MLS has a new five-year contract for goalkeepers that starts at $250,000 a year, but that figure could change depending on how Rimando is valued.
The new contract includes a base salary of $175,000 for 2018 and $175 (including incentives) for 2019.
If Rimando signs an MLS deal in 2018, the maximum annual salary would be $210,000, which would put Orlando City on track to exceed the $150 million MLS salary cap.
Orlando City will need to figure out how to move Rimando before the start of the 2019 MLS season.
If he signs an extension, Orlando City would be able to save around $6 million on their salary cap by signing him now.
But if he signs elsewhere, Orlando would be on the hook for about $4 million, according to Forbes.
The deal with Seattle will also pay Rimando $15.6 million over the first five years, but there is no guarantee that he will stay with the Sounders.
MLS teams typically offer their players three-year contracts, which means that Rimando could be on his way out of Orlando City this season if the club decides to sell him to another MLS team.
But Orlando City could still sign a player this offseason and save the team a few million dollars in cap space.
What are some of the other MLS free agents who could be available to Orlando City?
Orlando City has three MLS free agency options at its disposal, including the likes of New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty, the New England Revolution forward Brad Evans and the Portland Timbers forward Caleb Porter.
The Orlando City midfielder could be a huge upgrade over the team that traded him to Seattle.
Orlando’s top free agent signing in the past two summers, the 25-year-old Evans, is currently on loan at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, but Orlando could potentially make him a free agent by offering him a one-year deal with the MLS team in exchange for a return to Orlando.
The 30-year old Porter has been an integral part of Orlando’s MLS success in recent years, and it’s a shame that the team will have to part ways with him for this season.
The 23-year, $90 million veteran has been a big part of the team since joining Orlando City in 2016, but he could be looking for a new club after signing a deal in 2016 that would have made him an MLS free agent for the second time.
The 32-year man Porter is also likely to be a target for another MLS club, according the Orlando Sentinel.
The 25-time MLS Cup winner is also a free-agent after signing with MLS last summer, but it’s not clear if he’ll be interested in joining Orlando this summer.
What is the MLS salary ceiling?
The salary cap is set at $150,000 per team per season, so it will be interesting to see if Orlando City can match that number for Rimando.
If the team is able to match Rimando’s offer, Orlando will be in the clear for the first time this season, but if the salary cap does not rise to the cap for 2018, Orlando could find itself in a tricky spot in the near future.
With the MLS free-agency period opening later this week, Orlando is going to have to weigh whether it should wait to make Rimando a signing until the season ends or make him available for other teams.
The club could still be able save $6.5 million by signing Rimando to an MLS contract before the end of the season.
But the team could also be forced to part with another MLS player this summer to clear the cap.
If Orlando City does make Rimado available for another team, the club could end up spending a lot more money than it has currently.
What does this mean for Orlando City fans?
The Orlando city fans have been waiting a long time for this summer, and the club may not be able wait that long again.
If they do not get a good return on their investment, Orlando might be in for a rough couple of seasons.
But with Orlando City not only having the potential to make the playoffs for the third consecutive season, it also has a chance to be the top-seeded team in MLS history.
Orlando has already secured the MLS Cup and has some big-name players like the likes, Dax and Brad Evans, on its roster.
The team could do much better in the future, but with its roster, it should be able compete with the top teams in the league in the long run.