Over the past seven days, Orlando City has made two roster moves that will add depth to the injury depleted squad. One week ago today, the Lions brought in Corey Ashe from Houston and just yesterday the team traded Amobi Okugo for Servando Carrasco. Both players look to be quality insurance players, with Orlando having more or less found their starting XI as of late. With these two additions mixed into the equation, could either of them become a starter in the future?
Starting off with Corey Ashe, a two-time MLS All-Star and veteran of the league for over eight years. The 5-foot-5 fullback not only brings in years of experience playing in the league, but he also possesses a quality that many teams in the league feared when facing him: pace. At one point in the last three years, Ashe was regarded as one of the fastest fullbacks in MLS. Although he's now 30 years old, the defender can still very much utilize that ability. Having a speedy fullback also works in favor of Adrian Heath's system.
Much like right back Rafael Ramos, the fullbacks in Heath's 4-2-3-1 formation are called upon a lot on both offense and defense. Being able to help with the attack going forward, then immediately getting back and defending the counter is imperative for the system Orlando utilizes.
With that pace, Ashe would definitely open up the attack more and teams would have to respect both wings. Now this is not to say that current starter Luke Boden will lose his job. Boden has already proven himself a quality fullback and his services into the box create better chances for Orlando to score. However, depending on the match-up, Heath has an option of who to go with going forward.
Carrasco has not played with Orlando yet, so I don't have the same benefit of having seen him in action with the first team. Having said that, Carrasco will be a very capable backup to both Darwin Cerén and Cristian Higuita in the defensive midfield.
A four-year veteran of the league, Carrasco was a depth player in Seattle his first three years in MLS and became a very good player in that role. He's the kind of player who likes long services downfield and is very much a team player, which works well with Orlando's overall game plan. The midfielder may find himself starting this weekend against New York City FC, a team which he has played once this year when he was with Sporting Kansas City.
Sporting won 1-0 at Yankee Stadium and Carrasco played the full 90 minutes, which could be good for Orlando going into this important weekend match-up. If Carrasco can impress the coaching staff in that game, he may have more opportunities to be the first player off the bench or even start the odd game or two.
The point of all of this is that both of these roster moves, no matter what you may think of them personally, help the club's depth going forward as they get into the more important portion of the season. We'll have to wait and see if Orlando decides to bring in a few more players before the transfer window closes.