As a preface here, this will be an ongoing series that we will be doing, covering all of the players that have played for Orlando City this year. As we work our way through the Lions' roster, we will start with one of the least-used players on the team, Danny Mwanga.
It's weird to think that Mwanga is only 24 years old and was one of the best players to come out of the MLS SuperDraft back in 2010, when he was named one of three finalists in the rookie of the year voting (which current Anderlecht player Andy Najar won). Since the year after, he's played sparingly and has bounced around among the Portland Timbers, Colorado Rapids and the New York Cosmos, having only scored three goals in the last four years.
Entering this season, when he was taken in the MLS Expansion Draft, no one really thought he would get many minutes during the season. However, due to injuries, Mwanga ended up playing in four league games this season, starting in one of them. He also played in a friendly and one U.S. Open Cup game, which he scored in. In the league games, he did not score any goals and only played 110 minutes. He also had 0 assists, 0 shots, two fouls committed, one offside, 0 yellow cards and 0 red cards.
The game that Mwanga started in, against Montreal, he actually made a good run down the middle of the field to help give Pedro Ribeiro some space to work, eventually leading to a Kaká goal. This was his best moment during MLS play that I can actually point out.
In the other three games, Mwanga did not have much of an impact, playing no more than 20 minutes in each of them. However, in the friendly against Louisville City FC and the U.S Open Cup game against the Charleston Battery, Mwanga actually scored a goal. In the Louisville friendly, he scored the only goal for Orlando, which snapped a 420-minute scoring drought for the Lions at the time. He also scored the game winning penalty against Charleston to send the team into the next round of the U.S Open Cup. Both of those goals can be found below.
I have to say the USOC game in which he had the game-winning penalty. Mwanga played the full 120 minutes in that one and wasn't too much of a factor, except for the penalty and a pass to Pedro Ribeiro, who went down for a penalty in the 105th minute.
Final 2015 Rating:
Mwanga's grade for the 2015 season, based on a poll of The Mane Land staff, was a 2.5 out of 10. He barely got on the pitch at all and when he did, it simply wasn't all that memorable.
Sad to say, but it's been a real fall from grace for the former Philadelphia Union rookie sensation. Let's just hope his current teammate, Cyle Larin, doesn't follow in his footsteps.