Orlando City SC

Orlando City sign Emmanuel Mas on a one-year contract

Lizzy Becherano
Emmanuel Mas playing for Boca Juniors vs Defensores de Belgrano during the Copa Argentina 2021
Emmanuel Mas playing for Boca Juniors vs Defensores de Belgrano during the Copa Argentina 2021 / Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

Orlando City SC have signed veteran Argentine defender Emmanuel Mas for the rest of the 2021 Major League Season, with a club option for 2022.

The experienced left-back departed Boca Juniors on 1July after his contract expired, enabling Orlando to approach the player as a free agent. In line with league regulations, Mas will be available to feature for the team as soon as his international paperwork is received by MLS. 

“We are really happy to welcome Emmanuel to Orlando and are excited about the experience and technical skill that he’ll add to our team at this crucial point in the season,” Orlando City EVP of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi said in a statement.

“Our goal as a club is to win titles and we believe the move to bring in a high-caliber player like Emmanuel is another step towards that end," Muzzi added.

The Argentine player comes off of two-and-a-half seasons with Boca, where he recorded three goals in 43 overall appearances. Mas played an integral part in the team’s success, leading the club to league title victories in the 2017-18 and 2019-20 seasons. Prior to arriving to Argentina on a €2.3m transfer, Mas spent one year with Trabzonspor in Turkey. 

Before his short stint in Europe, Mas played with the Buenos Aires-based club San Lorenzo from 2013-16. He managed six goals in 93 appearances with the club, inspiring their 2014 Copa Libertadores win and 2014 FIFA Club World Cup qualification.

Internationally, Mas has featured eight times for the Argentinian national team, first debuting in 2015 under Tata Martino and most recently involved in a 7-0 win over Bolivia in 2017. 

The arrival of Mas finally satisfies Orlando’s desperate need for a veteran left-back who can provide a sense of leadership and quality play in the defensive line. The MLS side is currently thriving, sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference with 21 points in 12 games. However, they must consider minor improvements to challenge the New England Revolution for their top spot.