clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Our City: Two Sides of A Transfer Window For Orlando

New, 4 comments

So far this season, Orlando City has enjoyed its fair share of speculation when it comes to transfer rumors and international superstars. The other side of the transfer window hasn't been a reality yet for supporters; could Orlando lose any of its exciting young players in this window?

Our City is a weekly column dedicated to the fans and supporter's perspectives of Orlando City. Any feedback, comments, or questions? Find Kevin Mercer on Twitter @KevinMercer225

This season, Orlando City has enjoyed the spotlight when it comes to transfer rumors. In this window alone, the club has been mentioned in rumors involving exciting players such as Manchester United's Javier "Chicharito" Hernández and Chelsea's Didier Drogba. Even a player closer to the hearts of Orlando supporters, Sporting Kansas City star Dom Dwyer, bounced along the transfer rumor mill for a week or two. With a new exciting team, a larger passionate fan base, and owners willing to splash the cash, it is no surprise that Orlando City has been linked with nearly every superstar potentially moving to MLS.

Transfer windows work two ways, of course, with Orlando recently parting company with midfielder Amobi Okugo. A likable personality who was thrust forward as one of the faces of the club early on, Okugo never quite found his place in Adrian Heath's system and was deemed surplus. This was disappointing to some fans who still felt his best was yet to come.

This move highlights the potential that other Orlando City players will find their way to other clubs at some point in the future.

As supporters, we connect deeply with the players during games. We follow them through good nights and bad, we understand their game and its limitations, and we constantly debate how well Heath uses them in his system. We cheer for them after goals, we encourage them through droughts, and we applaud their tenacity in defense. We understand the architecture of our club is based on how well these players gel with one another and how many we can keep out of the training room with injuries.

The idea of a player leaving the club is an incredibility sensitive subject. The history of sports in Orlando is defined by the exit of two certain former Orlando Magic players. Our supporters still debate how much former players like Jamie Watson, Denis Chin, and Miguel Gallardo could help the club in MLS. We understandably don't let go very easily of players we love.

With a club stacked with young talent, it will only be a matter of time until European clubs come knocking on the door asking for some of those players. While many think cynically of MLS as a retirement club for aging superstars, those who understand the nature of soccer around the world know that the league is also a talent pool for European teams. With MLS having broadcast deals secured all around the world, that exposure and understanding of just how good some MLS youngsters are will only increase.

Players like Rafael Ramos, Carlos Rivas, Cyle Larin, and Cristian Higuita will certainly be garnering some looks from other clubs if they continue to play the way they have so far this season. Players such as Luke Boden, Harrison Heath, Seb Hines, or Sean St. Ledger all could be helpful to European clubs due to their eligibility as UK citizens.

Transfers are part of the modern game. Orlando City has enjoyed the fun aspect of the transfer window--the speculation and a bit of day dreaming for fans. The other side of the window could see crucial pieces of the club lost if the deal is just too good for MLS to turn down.

Hopefully, the club's leadership continues into the transfer window looking for top talent to bring into Orlando and is able to hold on to the exciting young players who have done well this season. While players moving to other clubs might be inevitable, let's at least get to enjoy a season or two with this special batch of young players.

What do you think -- will Orlando City be able to keep hold of its youngsters?