Only three more weeks remain in the MLS regular season and Orlando City still holds on to a glimmer of hope for the playoffs. With this week off, the team will have time to recover and prepare for next week's match-up with the league's other expansion club, New York City FC. Unfortunately for the Lions, they will have to play this important match without two of their star players.
Both Kaká and Brek Shea will be forced to miss next Friday's game due to yellow card accumulation, which really hurts Orlando's strengths going into this game. Since Shea has come back from injury, Orlando has rattled off four straight wins to stay within one point of Montreal. Now with both Shea and the captain out, the rest of Orlando's players will have to step up to keep the dream alive.
Another unfortunate result of this yellow card accumulation is that both Kaká and Shea have played their final games at the Citrus Bowl this season. With that in mind, I decided to look at the stats and see how both of them fared at home in 2015.
Kaká played in 14 games at home, only missing the match against Sporting Kansas City. Out of those 14 games, the captain played almost every minute of each game. Only against D.C. United back in June did he get subbed out after 89 minutes of play.
Kaká tallied five goals out of his current nine at home, as well as two of his seven assists. OCSC was 5-5-5 at home on the season with Ricky in the lineup. All things considered, those numbers are a bit low for Kaká, but considering how the season changed after Kevin Molino went down with a season-ending injury, I think we can give him a bit of slack on that end.
Meanwhile, Brek Shea missed a few more games than Kaká did, due to a two-month recovery following a sports hernia injury. Shea played in only 10 games at home, missing all the games in July and August. In all but three of those games Shea played less than the full 90, having been subbed off in the 83rd minute vs. LA Galaxy and coming on as a sub against SKC. He also only played 39 minutes against Colorado, the game in which he re-injured himself and was forced to be subbed out.
Shea's numbers are not too impressive, not tallying a goal this season while only getting two assists. Again, considering his position changes throughout the season, we can hope that he'll be back next season ready to put the ball in the back of the net. Also, with Shea on the field, the Lions went 5-2-3 at home this year, so his stats don't tell the full story of his value.
With all that said and done, what do you think about Orlando's two star players' performances at home? Underwhelming? Impressive? Meh? Let us know what you think in the comments.