ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 10, 2022) — Orlando City SC and midfielder Júnior Urso have agreed to mutually terminate the player’s contract, it was announced today. Urso’s departure comes due to personal reasons that require him to return back to his home country of Brazil.
“Júnior has meant so much to the culture and direction of this Club since joining us in 2020. He’s someone that we all love as both a player and a person, and we’re sad to see him leave,” said EVP of Soccer Operations and General Manager Luiz Muzzi. “While we saw him as an important piece for us moving forward, and we were excited to welcome him back in 2023, we recognize that some things are more important than soccer. Júnior will always have a home with us here in Orlando.”
“To my beloved Orlando City community, thank you very much for each and every minute you allowed me to represent you for the last three years. There were 100 games, goals, and the championship hardware we’ve always dreamed of,” Urso said. “I did everything in my power to make you feel well represented on the field, and hope I made you proud. It hurts to say goodbye. I didn’t want it to be this way, but it’s time to take care of my family. Know that I love you and am going to miss you. I will be rooting for you day-in-and-day-out. You will never hunt alone.”
Urso, 33, 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 11 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. The midfielder ended up tied in 2021 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. He debuted for the Club on Feb. 29, 2020 in the season opener against Real Salt Lake.