ORLANDO, Fla. (July 19, 2023) – Orlando City SC has signed midfielder Júnior Urso to a contract through 2023 with a Club option in 2024, it was announced today, marking the Brazilian’s return to the City Beautiful. Urso will be available for selection following receipt of his P-1 Visa and ITC.
“We’re so excited to sign Júnior again and be able to bring him back to the Club,” said Orlando City EVP of Soccer Operations and General Manager Luiz Muzzi. “We’re gearing up for our push to playoffs this year and we already know the depth of experience that he can add to this group. Júnior meant so much to the entire Club during his first stint with us and we’re happy to welcome him back home to Orlando.”
“I am very happy to be back. The time I spent away was a difficult time for me. I left the Club, but I didn't want to leave, I needed to leave, but today I am happy to be back,” Urso said. “I am so thankful to the Club for welcoming me back and for giving me this new opportunity to be here with you all. Orlando makes me very happy, happy to be here with the fans and with my teammates and I hope we do great things together. We are after another trophy which is what this Club and community deserves.”
Urso, 34, joined the Lions ahead of their 2020 MLS campaign, making 100 appearances for the Club across all competitions, including 89 starts. During his run with the Club, Urso scored 14 goals and tallied 12 assists, including a career-high six goals and eight assists in 2022. “The Bear” scored on Decision Day to level the match and help the Lions clinch a spot in the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs.
The Taboão da Serra, Brazil native also found the back of the net in City’s Third Round match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, in what marked the first game of the Club’s U.S. Open Cup Championship campaign. During that run, Urso played a vital role in the midfield for the Lions, starting in all six matches, going the distance in four of those games.
In 2021, the midfielder ended up tied for the team-lead with three game-winning goals. Urso scored his first MLS goal on Aug. 29, 2020, at Atlanta United FC in a 3-1 victory for the Lions.
Urso returned home at the end of 2022 due to personal reasons, mutually parting ways with the Lions before signing for Coritiba FC in Brazil. The midfielder made seven appearances for Coritiba in 2023.
TRANSACTION: Orlando City signs midfielder Júnior Urso to a contract through 2023, with a Club option in 2024, pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and ITC.
Born: March 10, 1989 in Taboão da Serra, Brazil
Hometown: Taboão da Serra, Brazil