Major League Soccer

Orlando City sign Austrian forward Ercan Kara to Designated Player contract

Chris Smith
Kara was prolific during his time with Rapid Vienna.
Kara was prolific during his time with Rapid Vienna. / Josef Bollwein/GettyImages

Orlando City have completed the signing of forward Ercan Kara from Austrian Bundesliga side Rapid Vienna.

Kara joins the Lions as a Designated Player (DP) on a contract through 2024 with options on 2025 and 2026, the club announced on Thursday.

“We are very excited to secure Ercan as another strong attacking presence for the club,” Orlando City chairman Mark Wilf said in a club press release. “He strengthens our lineup and will help us take another step toward winning championships in Orlando.”

Kara will provide Orlando City with a much-needed boost at center-forward following the sale of United States international Daryl Dike to West Brom earlier this month. He's the club's second major attacking signing of the week after they acquired Uruguay international Facundo Torres from Penarol as a Young DP.

“Acquiring Ercan is a great move for us and we’re really happy to get him to Central Florida,” Orlando City general manager and executive vice president of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi said. “His size and strength make him a great target for us inside the box, but his skills make him a threat from outside as well. We think his versatility up top is going to open a lot of opportunities for us in attack.”

The 26-year-old Kara joins Orlando following a two-year stay in Vienna, during which he managed 37 goals and 19 assists in 84 appearances across all competitions, also gaining experience in the Uefa Champions League and Europa League.

At international level, Kara has seven senior caps to his name for Austria, providing one assist, and has played a role in their World Cup qualifying bid for Qatar 2022.