Everybody get hyped, the summer transfer window has opened, which means the Silly Season is officially upon us. Transfer rumors have been flying around for months, and now it's finally time for teams to confirm or put to bed those rumors.
Orlando City is among those teams that have been linked with many players over the past weeks, including, but not limited to, Manchester United and Mexican national team star Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, whose steep price makes it look like he won't be coming to Florida or MLS anytime soon.
With injuries ravaging the roster this season, Orlando City is expected to be very active during this window, which closes August 6.
Head Coach Adrian Heath has said numerous times over the past month -- both on his radio show and during general press conferences -- that "in a perfect world, I'd like to bring in one of each position. Maybe a defender, a midfielder, and a striker."
He's also made it known that the club isn't going to bring in players just to have more bodies on the roster, saying, "We won't do it just for the sake of doing it. We have to make sure that what comes in is better than what we have."
Where should Orlando City be looking to add this summer? They have a few needs, in order from highest to lowest priority.
Orlando City has been struggling to find the perfect replacement on the right side of the midfield ever since Kevin Molino went down with a torn ACL in a May friendly. The Lions have since slotted Eric Avila in on the right wing a majority of the time, with Lewis Neal also seeing action there a time or two, while the team's other right wing, Tony Cascio, is sidelined with an injury.
Finding an attack-minded midfielder to play on the right side will be one of the team's biggest priorities in this window as the Lions try to bolster their offense in Molino's absence.
Signing a dangerous option on the right, opposite of Carlos Rivas and Kaká, would leave opponents struggling to defend all of the threats, and would create serious problems throughout matches. If the Lions can find a good replacement for Molino, well, watch out.
Back Line Depth
Orlando City's back line has been one of the team's strongest links so far this season, especially since Tally Hall returned. Seb Hines and Sean St. Ledger have stepped up immensely over the past few weeks, with Aurelien Collin suffering two separate injury stints with hamstring issues.
The Lions will be in good shape again when Collin returns, but his injury -- coupled with Conor Donovan's cracked elbow and Molino's injury, which forced Brek Shea back into the midfield before he too got hurt -- have thinned out the team's depth on defense. In case of emergency, Tommy Redding stands as the backup center back, should Hines and St. Ledger also go down -- however, the team could also use Amobi Okugo and Pedro Ribeiro if reeeeally needed.
In looking for back line help, Orlando should target, at least, someone that can play both center back and fullback, preferably on the left, to cover any potential injuries in the middle and back up Luke Boden, who doesn't have a true understudy at left back with Shea injured.
The Lions haven't had a problem getting production from the froward position this season. Cyle Larin, the No. 1 overall SuperDraft pick, has been everything as promised for Orlando City this season, scoring six goals since making his first start against the Portland Timbers in April. And Ribeiro has played well, stepping in as his backup while on national team duty with Canada.
If the Chicharito rumors didn't say anything to you, the Lions will be on the lookout for another forward this summer. Martin Paterson has turned out to be a massive disappointment, with injuries consistently putting him on the sidelines, and young designated player Bryan Rochez has only played in a handful of games off of the bench due to fitness problems, the U-20 World Cup, and visa issues keeping him trapped in New Zealand for several weeks.
Heath has mentioned a couple of times that he would like to bring in another forward. Being that his top starting option, Larin, has never played more than a few months in-season during his time with college, he know that he's bound to burn out at some point due to constant training, games, and time with the international team.
Whether it's on a short-term deal for the rest of the season, or a DP contract for several years, the chances look good that Orlando brings in another striker before the window closes.
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What do you think? What positions does Orlando City need to tackle during this transfer window? Comment below!