The signing of Bryan Róchez, the young Honduran forward who scored 29 goals in 59 games for Honduran league side Real C.D. Espana, looked to be a coup for an expansion Orlando City club. With Cyle Larin, the first overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft, City seemed to have cracked any potential scoring woes for years to come. Perhaps because of the success Larin has had on the field, Orlando City fans have not had the chance to see a lot of from Róchez. However, things might be about to change.
With Larin likely leaving to represent the Canadian Men's National Team for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, our side is going need to a replacement up front, and one possibility is Róchez. Currently away with the Honduran U-20s at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, Róchez has already notched two goals in the first game of the tournament, despite not having yet scored an MLS goal for his club side.
A run of good form for his national team should help revitalize his club career and having scored those goals, he'll be brimming with confidence. After the Ponte Preta friendly, Head Coach Adrian Heath remarked that "we're finally seeing the Bryan Róchez that we bought."
It's truly about time that we are seeing his talent start to shine through. He was always going to be a high-risk transfer on a DP salary at such a young age, and the club is no doubt relieved to see that he that he is producing at the highest level. His goals at the U-20 World Cup, plus Larin leaving on international duty, may come at the just the right time for club and player.
This is because Róchez is the natural replacement for Larin in Heath's 4-2-3-1 system. They are similar players with great speed, positioning, and understanding of the game, and Róchez's slow start to the season (one goal against Ponte Preta) and early season form meant that Larin has ultimately been leading the Lions up top.
However, now that other members of the squad such as Pedro Ribeiro and Martin Paterson have returned from injury, Heath has a wealth of forward options when Larin becomes unavailable, but perhaps the only real option is Rochez. This is because Ribeiro is not a natural replacement for Larin upfront due to his lack of pace, and Paterson is more a traditional target man than a long ball chaser, which is a necessity for Orlando City's system. Therefore, the last man standing is Rochez.
Now that he is settled and back to scoring goals, July could be a good month for the young Honduran.