Orlando City SC exercises option, purchases rights to defender Ruan

Orlando City SC has exercised its option to permanently acquire defender Ruan (WHO-ahn) and has subsequently signed him to a two-year contract with an option for a third year ahead of the 2020 Major League Soccer (MLS) season. Ruan joined the Lions prior to the 2019 campaign on loan.

“We are very happy to have Ruan continue as a part of our Club,” said Orlando City SC EVP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi. “Ruan showed last season that he is an important piece on our roster, with the ability to both defend on the outside but also contribute on the offensive end through his pace and skill. We look forward to seeing what he can do in 2020.”

The 24-year-old defender recorded 25 appearances for the Lions in his first season in MLS, with 23 starts as part of a City defense that set a Club-record for fewest goals conceded in 2019. In part to his excellent speed and danger in transition, Ruan trailed only Orlando City captain Nani in assists this season, with five to his credit.

The Rio de Janeiro native led the Lions in MLS Team of the Week appearances through 2019, earning that honor three times throughout the season.

Ruan joined the Lions ahead of their 2019 campaign following two seasons in Brazil’s Série B, signing with Clube Atlético da Barra da Tijuca in May 2017, his club of origin, before going on loan with both Associação Atlética Ponte Preta and Boa Esporte Clube in 2017 and 2018. He also previously featured for Brazilian First Division side Sport Club Internacional.

TRANSACTION: Orlando City SC exercises its option to permanently acquire Ruan and signs the defender to a two-year contract with an option for a third year.