Orlando City are close to adding the final piece of their defensive jigsaw as the Lions are finalising a loan move for Middlesbrough centre-back Seb Hines, according to the Orlando Sentinel’s Paul Tenorio.
Hines has been with Middlesbrough for the past nine years and has made 87 appearances in that time, scoring five times with four assists, but his contract with the current Championship leaders is set to expire at the end of the current season.
Orlando are prepared to take the 26-year-old Englishman on loan for six months, with the option to sign him for free when his contract with Middlesbrough expires at the end of June.
Hines spent time on loan with League One outfit Coventry City earlier in the current campaign and has only made three league appearances with Boro in 2014/15.
Orlando City’s general manager Paul McDonough revealed earlier this week that the Lions were set to add another defender, with Irishman Sean St Ledger currently on trial with the expansion franchise too.
“We will be bringing over another English player from the Championship and giving him a full trial as well [as St Ledger]. He can play both at centre-back or on the right, so it’s perfectly possible we could sign both of them.”
The additions of St Ledger and Hines would give Orlando five recognised centre-backs for their debut campaign with Aurelien Collin, Tommy Redding and Conor Donovan already with the team.
Former MLS Cup MVP Collin is the first-choice at the back but St Ledger and Hines will be confident that they have what it takes to partner the experienced Frenchman.
Hines was born in England and has represented the national team at youth levels all the way up to the Under-19’s. Though he is also eligible to play for the US Men’s National Team as he father is an American citizen.
The deal for Hines has not been confirmed by Orlando City yet but an official announcement is expected to be made in the next 24 hours.
Will Seb Hines be a good signing for Orlando City?