It's crazy to think that just a month ago, Orlando City SC didn't have enough players on the roster to field an 11-man team. My how the times have changed!
The Lions now have 21 players signed, with U.S. International Brek Shea ready to sign any day.
So now that we have a decent sense for what the lineup will look like, and for once, a week without a draft, let's break for a moment to talk about 2015. Who will be the team MVP at the end of the 2015 MLS season? Let's break down the odds:
Without a doubt, the odds-on favorite has to be the $7.1 million dollar man. The Brazilian will play a central attacking midfield role in Orlando's 4-2-3-1, and should have ample opportunity to rack up goals and assists. He's in top form coming off a successful loan spell at Sao Paulo, while still returning to Orlando in time for January training to build understanding with his teammates. Still, even Thierry Henry did not win the Red Bulls' MVP award in his first full season. And what if Orlando struggles, as many expansion teams have? Could Kaka get the blame?
Kevin Molino: 4/1
Molino may be a great sleeper pick here at 4/1. He's a fan favorite, he's brimming with confidence after a massive, record-setting season in USL Pro, and he'll have one of the greatest offensive players of our generation right next to him to distract defenses. Is Molino really a great soccer player, or was he just a great USL Pro player? Only time will tell.
Aurelien Collin: 9/2
A center back as MVP, you say? Blasphemy! Calm down, calm down. Collin probably can't hear you anyway over the sound of his 2013 MLS Cup MVP trophy. The Frenchman is an aggressive defender, and he was a fan favorite for years in Kansas City. If this first season goes the way it has for many expansion teams, a tenacious center back may very well be our MVP.
Brek Shea: 6/1
Wild card! Shea is one of the most physically and technically gifted players to come out of MLS in...well...ever. His incredible dribbling mixed with his impressive speed and height has left many a coach from Stoke to Orlando saying "wow." Of course, it didn't work so well for the Texan in England, and confidence has to be a concern. Still, the talent is there, and anyone playing next to Kaka should have the chance to prosper.
Bryan Rochez: 10/1
Be honest, Orlando fans; how many of you had never heard of Bryan Rochez before the signing rumors broke this week? [Sheepishly raises hand] Well he's here now, and he's got a legitimate shot at starting and scoring some goals this year for City. Still, there are a lot of other goal scorers and strikers on this roster right now. You have to wonder just how many will be left for the young, unproven Honduran.
Tally Hall: 14/1
The only reason his odds aren't a whole lot better is that the former Dynamo keeper will be out until June recovering from ACL surgery. Still, there's a good chance that an expansion team is going to give up a few shots on goal. Orlando has prioritized the keeper position to be sure, and if Tally can post a ridiculous goals-against average in the second half of the season and keep us in the playoff picture, who knows?!
Amobi Okugo: 15/1
It's tough to say how high Okugo's ceiling still is. He's been around the MLS so long, it's tough to shake the feeling that he's never going to reach the level that many envisioned for him. Still, at only 23, it seems foolhardy to give up on him quite yet. Further, if there's one thing I know about Orlando City fans, it's that they will appreciate a hard-nosed, fearless defensive midfielder.
So what do you think? Who wins the 2015 MVP for Orlando City?