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Orlando City Stock Watch: Seriously Though, How Much Did You Miss Kaká?

The captain returned to the lineup and delivered his best performance yet in purple, registering a goal and two assists to take down the defending champion Portland Timbers.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Back-to-back wins are a beautiful thing, and with Orlando City's 4-1 thrashing of defending champion Portland Timbers, that's what Adrian Heath and the boys have earned.

The club struck early and often, slamming on the gas pedal and refusing to look back. General Ulysses S. Grant would be proud of the execution. Chuck Liddell is envious of the killer instinct shown. Mahatma Gandhi would applaud the selflessness with which the team played.

How does the Stock Watch feel about the performance?


Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite - The man more commonly known as Kaká made his 2016 debut Sunday night, and "impressive" doesn't do his performance justice. In fact, I don't know of a word that does. We need to invent one, and a boring English word just won't do. With the help of google translate, I've invented a word -- olubalanadi -- rooted in the Xhosa language of South Africa. It loosely translates to "super fantastic." Kaká's performance was olubalanadi. You're welcome.

His passing was fantastic, supporting his 88.5% completion rate with two assists on four key passes. His stellar play with Shea on the left led to the left back's first goal with Orlando City -- and his forcing the ball on Kevin Molino for the PK led to the Trinidadian notching his first MLS goal. Here's to many more.

Seb Hines - A stellar defensive performance featuring two tackles, three interceptions, five clearances and a blocked shot would have been enough to earn consideration for this space.

Then you remember that this happened.

Hines does a fantastic job keeping the defender on his left shoulder as the ball comes in from the right. He's dominated the position battle, and all that's left to do his headbutt the ball. A great sequence from the center back, who should prove to be an important weapon moving forward for the Lions.


Darwin Cerén - While not a bad game by any stretch, Cerén's output on Sunday night fell noticeably short from his fantastic outing against NYCFC on March 18. While he was defensively active on the ball, his zero interceptions felt very un-Darwiny. His passing wasn't quite as accurate as usual, either, completing 79% of his 29 attempts. Cristian Higuita took command of the midfield, but instead of matching him as usual, Cerén seemed to personify Robin to Cristian's Batman.

Darwin is nobody's Robin. Look for the El Salvador captain to come back strong.

Cyle Larin - No, I'm not trying to pile on Kid Fantastic after leaving the game early with a knock. The truth is, when you've scored a goal in every game, and then fail to do so, you're stock is bound to drop a bit. Imagine Steph Curry scoring fewer than 20 points. Aaron Rodgers being held to under 150 passing yards. Rob Gronkowski kept out of the end zone. Clayton Kershaw failing to register a strikeout.

We all know Cyle will be back strong. We look forward to seeing him in the rising section again.