Rafael Ramos had what might best be described as an abbreviated season for Orlando City SC. Owing to a series of hamstring issues and the addition of Scott Sutter, Ramos only made two appearances, starting one game and coming on as a substitute in the other.
At the beginning of the season, Orlando’s 30-man active roster included 10 defenders, creating a crowded selection pool for a team that plays with a back four. He had some more luck with Orlando City B however, making seven appearances and providing one assist. Unfortunately, he found it difficult to break into the starting 11 for the first team and probably didn’t help his case when he was sent off in his only start of the year, although, in fairness, that red card was overturned by the MLS Disciplinary Committee upon appeal.
As the number of games he appeared in for the first team suggests, his impact on the field was not the greatest in just 55 total minutes played.
For Orlando City B, Ramos had a pretty good year, even though he only appeared in seven of the team’s 32 games. In those seven games, he was never booked, made four key passes, and had an assist. While he only played in limited time for the young Lions, he made pretty good use of that time.
Unfortunately, it was a different situation for Ramos on the senior side. As mentioned above, Ramos played in two games, totaling 55 minutes on the field. In that time, he took one shot and only committed one foul...unfortunately he was also sent off for that foul. That particular game against the Chicago Fire at home, saw Antonio Nocerino also sent off as the Lions hung on for a 0-0 draw at home.
Given that he only played two MLS games, Ramos’ best game for Orlando City would have to be in the 3-1 loss to Toronto FC on July 5. Ramos came on as a substitute for Scott Sutter in the 61st minute and played well, contributing some good passes on the attacking side of the ball as well as making a good stop in the 72nd minute to prevent a goal-scoring opportunity. Sadly, the Lions did lose that game, which happened to be during the barren run of summer games that ultimately doomed the club to miss the playoffs.
Final 2017 Grade
If his performance in USL were being graded, Ramos would probably receive something in the area of a six. He had solid performances without doing anything spectacular. However, this grade is based on his performance for the senior side and 55 minutes of time just isn’t enough to give him a number, so he gets an incomplete.
Ramos’ option was exercised by the club earlier this week, so he’ll be back next year barring some kind of transfer in the off-season. The young Portuguese defender will surely be looking for more playing time with the senior side, but depending on what kind of off-season moves the club makes, he may find life in the back line crowded once again.