Sporting Kansas City announced today that the club has signed free agent midfielder Oriol “Uri” Rosell to a two-year MLS contract through 2023 with an option for 2024.
"I am really happy to be back home," Rosell said. "I'm excited for this new opportunity. I'm here to win again."
Rosell, 29, has been added to Sporting’s roster and returns to Kansas City after helping the club to the 2013 MLS Cup title. The Spanish midfielder played three seasons under Manager Peter Vermes from 2012-2014 before transferring to Portuguese powerhouse Sporting Lisbon. Rosell has spent the last four years in MLS with Orlando City SC, where he logged 73 appearances across all competitions.
Born and raised in Puig Reig, Catalonia, Spain, Rosell joined FC Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy as a 14-year-old in 2006. He competed alongside past and present Sporting players Andreu Fontas, Cristian Lobato, Jordi Quintilla and Ilie Sanchez during his time at the storied club and debuted professionally for FC Barcelona B in January 2012.
Rosell began his first stint at Sporting KC in August 2012, making six MLS appearances during the final stretch of a campaign that saw Vermes’ side win the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and finish atop the Eastern Conference regular season standings.
The following year, Rosell reached new heights by cementing a regular starting spot in the defensive midfield for the 2013 MLS Cup champions. He started 41 of 42 matches in all competitions, led MLS with 130 interceptions during the regular season and finished as the team’s leader in successful passes and tackles won. Rosell started all five playoff matches in Sporting’s run to the MLS Cup, which culminated with a shootout victory over Real Salt Lake following a 1-1 draw at Children’s Mercy Park.
Rosell began 2014 brightly, setting a pair of Opta-era MLS records at the time by completing 158 of 164 passes in a 3-0 win at CF Montreal on May 10 and making his most recent appearance for Sporting four days later. The following month, Rosell was transferred to Sporting Lisbon in Europe after finishing his time at Sporting KC with 57 games played, 52 starts, two goals, two assists and a 25-13-11 record in MLS competition (including playoffs).
In his first season at Sporting Lisbon, Rosell earned his debuts in the UEFA Champions League—featuring in a group stage win over German side Schalke 04—and the UEFA Europa League, starting in a knockout round clash against German club Wolfsburg. He ended the 2014-15 campaign with 22 total appearances, including three in the Taça de Portugal as Sporting Lisbon won the prestigious domestic cup title with a team bolstered by former MLS All-Star Fredy Montero and eventual MLS All-Star Nani.
Over the next three seasons, Sporting Lisbon loaned Rosell to Portuguese clubs Vitoria Guimaraes, Belenenses and Portimonense, respectively. He played 42 matches in the top-flight Portuguese Primeira Liga from 2014-2018 before returning to MLS.
Rosell signed for Orlando in January 2018 after the Lions had acquired the No. 1 position in the MLS Allocation Order from FC Dallas in exchange for $400,000 in Targeted Allocation Money. He appeared in 70 MLS matches during his four-year stay in Orlando, helping the club to its first two playoff appearances in 2020 and 2021. Through his first seven MLS seasons, Rosell boasts a passing accuracy clip of 86.9% and a tackle success rate of 66.8%.
Sporting will continue to build its 2022 squad ahead of the new MLS season, which will kick off Feb. 27 at Atlanta United FC with a 2 p.m. CT showdown inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium. For a full list of Sporting’s offseason roster moves, visit SportingKC.com/news/tracker.
Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) signs free agent midfielder Oriol “Uri” Rosell to a two-year contract through 2023 with an option for 2024.
Oriol “Uri” Rosell (OO-ree rohz-EL)
Born: 7/7/1992 (29 years old)
Weight: 168 lbs.
Hometown: Puig Reig, Catalonia, Spain
Birthplace: Puig Reig, Catalonia, Spain
Previous Club: Orlando City SC