Ah, social media.
It's fun, isn't it? It's a great way to share selfies and look at pictures of food. It's also where rumors go to flourish and take on a life of their own.
And so it is with the rumors about Orlando City midfielder Estrela. The Portuguese youth international had trouble cracking Orlando City's lineup in 2015, aside from a friendly or two, and didn't seem to be much in the plans this year with the club stacked at his position. The Lions boast two standout defensive midfielders in Darwin Ceren (who recently signed a four-year contract with Orlando) and Cristian Higuita, plus solid veteran depth in the form of Servando Carrasco and recent Honduran signing Devron Garcia.
Even Orlando City B is deep at defensive midfield.
But soccer Twitter had Estrela on the outs yesterday and indeed the player's own Instagram featured an exchange where he and Lewis Neal swapped well wishes with each other on the season ahead -- not something you normally would see from two guys who presumably would be on the field together the very next morning. To wit:
This by itself isn't a whole lot to go on, and although I was able to reach Orlando City communications personnel last night, there was no official comment from the club about the player's future.
Shortly after that, a Colombian-American, on his way from Miami to Madrid, posted photos on Twitter of himself on a plane, sitting next to Estrela. More photos on his Twitter feed show the day and time of his flight.
Again, none of this proves definitively that Estrela is off the team, and he was still listed on the club's website as of late Friday night. But the exchange between he and Neal on Instagram certainly doesn't make it sound like these two will be on the same team in 2016.
We should get more clarity after today's training session at Sylvan Lake Park.