Orlando City signed their second Designated Player in a 72-hour span on Thursday, inking Austrian international forward Ercan Kara to lead the line in 2022 and beyond. Let’s find out all we can on Orlando City’s new No. 9.
- Kara was born in Vienna, Austria in January 1996. His parents, both from Turkey, are each one of nine siblings, meaning Kara has 16 blood-related aunts and uncles along with dozens of cousins. He says he is very close with his family and hopes they will come to Orlando to see him score goals at Exploria Stadium. We’ll see if they can fill up an entire section!
- After some time in Austria’s lower leagues, Kara caught the eye of 2. Liga team SK Horn, who signed him in summer 2019 only to see him tear the roof off the Austrian second division, scoring 13 goals in just 16 games.
- Kara finally got his chance in the top flight when Rapid Vienna moved for him in January 2020, and once again, he proved he was up for the task. The Vienna native has scored 27 goals and added 13 assists over the last three seasons in the Austrian Bundesliga. He’s also notched a total of 10 goals across other competitions, including the UEFA Europa League, the Austrian domestic cup and UEFA Champions League.
- Since the start of the 2020-21 season, Kara has the second-most goals of any player in the Austrian Bundesliga, behind only former Red Bull Salzburg frontman and current Leicester City star Patson Daka.
- Eligible for both Austria and Turkey, Kara made the decision to play for the Austrian national team when called into the side in March 2021 for UEFA FIFA World Cup Qualifying. He has seven caps for the senior team, earning his first international assist against the Faroe Islands on October 9, 2021.
- Kara’s soccer idol is Chelsea and Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba, who Kara says he values for both his style of play and his leadership ability.
- Having been raised in Austria by Turkish parents, Kara speaks three languages – German, Turkish and English. He also says he speaks a little bit of Italian thanks to taking two years of courses in his school days.
- Off the field, Kara enjoys spending time with his family, especially his wife, Eda, and their cat, Zilli.