NYCFC have announced that Josh Saunders has been sent to Orlando City in exchange for Orlando’s fourth round pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.
The 35 year old Saunders will be reunited with former coach Jason Kreis who relied on the veteran in New York City FC’s inaugural season.
Claudio Reyna took time to thank Saunders for his service and dedication to the club.
“I’d like to thank Josh for his service over the last two years and wish him all of the best in this new chapter in his career. As the starting goalkeeper in our first-ever game, his place in NYCFC history is assured and we’re grateful for his part in some of our most memorable moments since. We’re happy that we managed to find the right solution for him to play in 2017 and we know our fans will also want to wish Josh all of the best in his future endeavors.”
The move doesn’t come as much of a surprise given that Saunders wasn’t brought into NYCFC’s preseason camp in Florida last week with Vieira telling reporters yesterday that the team had found a new keeper.
Patrick Vieira also thanked Josh for his service to the club, after having served as his starting keeper throughout the season until the last game.
“It was a priority for us as a club to work with Josh to find him a team that he wanted to go to and I’m really happy that we’ve managed to find that solution together” said Vieira.
“In the end, we reached a conclusion that suited both parties as he’s going to Orlando which is a club he wanted to be at. Myself and all of the coaching staff would like to thank Josh for his great contribution to NYCFC and wish him luck for the year ahead.”
With Saunders gone, NYC is down to three keepers with recently acquired Sean Johnson expected to be at the helm and youngsters Eirik Johansen and Andre Rawls behind him.
Should Saunders successfully earn the top spot in Orlando he could earn a name in their history books as being a keeper who was there for Orlando’s first matches in their new stadiums. NYCFC travels to Orlando City’s new soccer specific stadium on March 5th for the 2017 season opener.