Report: Longtime Red Bull target Kaka signs with Orlando City

IMAGE, MLSSOCCER.COM

Both the New York Red Bulls and Orlando City SC have heavily courted Brazilian star Kaka over the past several years. Now it appears he has made his decision, and it is the Red Bulls who will be left empty handed.

ESPN’s Taylor Twellman first broke the story on Twitter, reporting Orlando City has signed their first ever designated player.

That was only part of the story. Twellman also revealed the Lions would loan their new star player back to his home club Sao Paolo of the Brazilian Primera until the club’s MLS debut in March of 2015.

The Orlando Sentinel
followed that report with an independent confirmation, adding that the star player had not put “pen to paper” just yet, but would indeed be heading to Orlando. Kaka triggered an opt-out clause in his AC Milan contract in order to make the move a reality.

The 2007 World Player of the Year shares a cozy relationship with Orlando City’s Brazilian owner Flávio Augusto da Silva which surely played a part in his decision to join the franchise.

The Red Bulls did their best to lure in Kaka as well. The franchise signed his brother Digao in September of 2012 to a $90k a year contract. The idea was simple. Kaka had always publicly stated his desire to play alongside his younger brother. In fact, he managed to find Digao a place within the ranks of AC Milan from 2005-2011 despite the fact that the young defender could not crack their lineup.

Why couldn’t the same situation work out in the Red Bulls’ favor?

By the second year, the idea of using Digao as bait became a bank-breaking proposition. His second year contract number skyrocketed to an unsightly $200k. With no guarantee of signing Kaka, both club and player parted ways by ‘mutual consent’ in July of 2013.

In essence, the Red Bulls threw in the towel on their ambitious endeavor, and Orlando City were more than happy to pick up the pieces.

Nearly a year later, the Lions have their man.

Kaka immediately becomes the most vibrant attacking midfielder in MLS. The 32-year-old World Cup winner not only possesses a world class striking ability, but his vision on the field will make him a unique commodity in the physical confines of MLS. He has enjoyed most of his club success with AC Milan, winning Serie A in 2003-04, the Champions League in 2006-07 and the FIFA World Cup in 2007. While his time in Real Madrid was not as fruitful, he still managed to capture a Liga title with the club as well.

Neither AC Milan, Orlando City nor Kaka’s representatives have confirmed the reports. EOS reached out to league sources but could not find confirmation.

  • Morrissey

    Good. We can finally stop hearing rumors about him coming here now.