Benji Michel leaves Orlando City to join FC Arouca on free transfer

Benji Michel has left Orlando City to join Portuguese Primeira Liga side FC Arouca on a free transfer.

The 25-year-old spent four years at Exploria Stadium as a homegrown player after previously emerging from the Portland Timbers youth system. Michel made 118 appearances for the Lions across all competitions, registering 19 goals and 13 assists while helping the club lift the US Open Cup in 2022.

“Dear Orlando City… To the city that I’ve born and raised in it’s been a ride,” Michel said in a social media post, continuing: “Thank you for an amazing four years. Sucks that I have to go but I have to do what’s best for my future and I hope you all can understand that.

“Home or away you all been nothing but supportive of me and for that I greatly appreciate it. Leaving the city as a US Open Cup Champ and making history is something that I will always cherish from the bottom of my heart.

“To all my friends and family thank you for pushing me and believing me. Without you I wouldn’t have been able to make history with this city. Forever and always.”

As Michel leaves, Orlando have completed the signing of Argentine winger Martin Ojeda from Godoy Cruz as a Designated Player.

The forward joins an FC Arouca side sitting seventh in the Primeira Liga table, five points adrift of the European places.

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