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All Eyes On Kaká: Orlando City's Captain the Key to a Successful Playoff Push

Since missing Orlando's last game in Toronto, the Lions' captain has had a tough time making his presence felt on the pitch. Today, City needs him to find his form.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

After starting the month of August off well, with a 5-2 victory over Columbus Crew SC, Orlando City has had three disappointing results through the rest of the month. The Lions have only earned one point out of a possible nine since that home win, and at this stage of the season, dropping points is not a luxury the team can afford.  Something else the team can ill afford is out-of-form play of their captain and Designated Player, Kaká.

Since missing the second game of the month in Toronto, which the team lost 4-1, the Brazilian has been almost a non-factor in matches against Philadelphia and Seattle. Back in June, when Orlando was winning games, Kaká was right in the thick of things, finding the net, orchestrating the offense, and giving his teammates chances to score. Now the team is on a rough slide, and the captain's play is a big reason for that.

To be fair, it's not all Kaká's fault. Key injuries at the wing positions and the inconsistency of rookie Cyle Larin at the top of the formation have at times handcuffed the former world player of the year. Having said that, however, the team needs him to continue to put the team on his back for the rest of the year.

Not having Kevin Molino and Brek Shea as running mates has hurt the chemistry of the team and has forced Kaká to have a more prominent scoring role. It's not his preferred role. He's always had a few players that he can play with, therefore making him a better player.

For Orlando right now, Kaká needs to keep trying to get this team through the next few games with more favorable results. Hopefully, by the time September rolls around, Brek will be back on the pitch and will be able to contribute to a big playoff push. For the time being, however, it's all on Kaká to gel with new Swiss right wing Adrian Winter and help this young team through this rough patch.