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Report: Luiz Muzzi set to leave FC Dallas for Orlando City

The offseason of change continues to happen for FC Dallas.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at FC Dallas Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE @ 3:30 pm CT: FC Dallas has released this statement on this story:

Luiz Muzzi is currently serving as FC Dallas’ Vice President of Soccer Operations. Our club’s focus right now is building our roster for 2019.

The offseason continues to be a wild one for FC Dallas. First it was Oscar Pareja leaving the club for Mexico and now it appears that Luiz Muzzi is set to depart as well.

ESPNFC’s Jeff Carlisle is reporting today that Muzzi is prepared to leave North Texas for a technical director position with Orlando City SC.

Muzzi will take over from Niki Budalic, who was fired from Orlando last week in the wake of a brutal season. Big things were expected of the Lions after an offseason that saw them acquire the likes of Sacha Kljestan, Justin Meram, and Oriol Rosell. But instead of contending for a playoff spot, Orlando finished last in the Eastern Conference, with manager Jason Kreis relieved of his duties in midseason and James O’Connor taking his place.

Muzzi seems to have the kind of skill set that is in alignment with Orlando City’s Brazilian owners. During Muzzi’s time in with Dallas, FCD took on a decidedly South American influence, bringing in players such as Mauro Diaz from Argentina, Colombian Michael Barrios and Ecuadoran international Carlos Gruezo. Muzzi is fluent in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and French.

Muzzi was promoted to FC Dallas’ vice-president of soccer operations back in September when Fernando Clavijo was forced to step down due to illness. He had previously served as the club’s director of soccer and technical director since December of 2012.

Muzzi has a history in Florida, so the move makes a little bit of sense given the change of guard at FC Dallas these last few weeks. Prior to joining FC Dallas, Muzzi was the director of soccer for Traffic Sports from 2003 to 2012. He also served as the GM of the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (now Miami FC) when the club played in the USL and NASL.

So while FC Dallas is in the middle of a coaching search, it appears that now they have a technical director role to fill as well this offseason. Could Dan and Clark Hunt pull what other clubs have done in the past by filling both roles with one person (a la Bruce Arena in LA, or Peter Vermes in KC)? Time will certainly tell, but this is definitely going to be a tough loss for FC Dallas.