Orlando City fire general manager Budalic after two seasons

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Kim Klement
The Lions finished with their fewest point total in their four-year MLS history in 2018

Orlando City have fired general manager Niki Budalic after two years in the role, the team announced Monday.

The Lions amassed just 28 points this season, the fewest in the club’s four-year run in Major League Soccer.

“I want to thank [CEO Alex Leitao] and Majority Owner Flavio Augusto da Silva for the opportunity to work in this organization these past three years, and wish the Club all the best in the future,” Budalic said in a statement.

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Budalic joined Orlando City in an assistant general manager role in January 2016. At the time, Orlando had no acting general manager as both former general manager Paul McDonough and chief soccer officer Armando Carneiro had both departed the club.

Budalic served as assistant general manager with Orlando City president Phil Rawlins for a season before being promoted to the full role prior to the 2017 season.

He inherited a Lions side that had failed to make the playoffs in their first two seasons in Major League Soccer.

However, the club’s fortunes would deteriorate further with Budalic at the helm the next two campaigns.

Orlando finished with 39 points in 2017, their lowest point total in their history to that point.

That was followed up by a busy offseason, which saw the Lions bring in multiple big MLS names, including Justin Meram and Sacha Kljestan.

The pair would hope to team with United States international striker Dom Dwyer, acquired from Sporting Kansas City in the previous summer in a then-record trade, to spark Orlando to its first ever MLS playoff appearance.

But this season proved no better, with Meram traded back to Columbus midseason and Budalic firing head coach Jason Kreis in June.

Orlando won just two games under interim head coach James O’Connor and slumped to the second-worst record in MLS.

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