The I-4 derby just got more interesting. The Tampa Bay Rowdies signed Luke Boden an English left back who had played every season of Orlando City SC’s existence with the club. Boden’s signing with the Rowdies means they have essentially swapped left backs with Orlando City after PC went the other way earlier this week. From my vantage point Tampa Bay wins out short term with the more finished article but Orlando could have a player in PC with greater upside.
A 28-year old left back, Boden made 45 MLS appearances for Orlando in the past two seasons. He originally joined the club in 2011 and made 95 USL appearances from 2011 to 2014. He was one of eight players to make the transition from the USL to MLS with the Lions. He also appeared in one USL match last season for Orlando City B.
“Luke is a great addition to our team,” Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell said. “He brings a great deal of experience to our side having played in so many matches at both the USL and MLS levels. He’s a reliable defender with a great left foot that will bring a lot of intensity to our side.”
Born in Sheffield, England, Boden came up through Sheffield Wednesday’s academy and broke into the first team in 2006. Boden played for Wednesday from 2006 to 2011, including loan spells at Rushden & Diamonds, Chesterfield and Northampton Town.
Boden moved stateside in 2011 to join Orlando City. In his six years with the club, Boden won three USL Championships and was named to the USL Pro Team of the Season in 2014.