By Official Florida FC
Orlando City confirmed the rumors that winger Chris Mueller will leave the club at the end of the 2021 season.
Mueller has two goals and four assists in 13 matches for Orlando City this year. He has only made seven starts in that time frame. His passing accuracy and creative production are well below his breakout campaign in 2020 when he flirted with a MLS Best XI selection after recording 10 goals and seven assists in fewer than 1,500 minutes.
“Orlando City SC and Chris Mueller have been involved in contract negotiations for some time, with the forward’s contract set to expire following the 2021 Major League Soccer season,” the club wrote in a Wednesday statemennt. “Earlier, Mueller informed the Club that he has signed a pre-contract to join a European team upon the end of his time with Orlando City. The pre-contract was signed in line with all FIFA regulations.”
Mueller has been one of the most successful MLS SuperDraft selections in Orlando’s brief history. He was taken No. 6 overall in 2018 and played 2,000 minutes as a winger or wide midfielder. The 24-year-old has scored 21 goals and assisted 18 others in 108 matches for the Lions.
Mueller was called up to the U.S. men’s national team in December and earned Man of the Match honors after scoring two goals and assisting another in a 6-0 drilling of El Salvador in Fort Lauderdale. Mueller participated in the USMNT’s January camp, and played 26 minutes agains Trinidad and Tobago on Feb. 1.
The Illinois native was not called up to the national team for either the conclusion of the CONCACAF Nations League nor the Gold Cup.
Mueller and the Lions (6-3-4, 22 points) will host the Philadelphia Union (6-3-5, 23 points) on Thursday night. An Orlando City win would vault the club into second place in the Eastern Conference.