In the round of 16 of last year’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, Orlando City fell to the NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers, 2-1 in extra time. The game-winning goal was scored by Strikers defender PC in the 120th minute of the game. During the off-season, the Lions signed the defender away from the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Like other young players acquired by the Lions, PC spent pretty equal time with City and OCB this year. The 23-year-old outside back had strong performances early on but was used as a late substitute by Jason Kreis in many games, rendering him unable to make much of a difference.
PC had a variety of performances which ranged from man of the match to being sent off minutes after coming on. In his first game against the San Jose Earthquakes on May 17, he got his first start and was the best player on the field. That performance included setting up a goal by Carlos Rivas and hitting the crossbar. Against the Seattle Sounders on June 21, he made a nice run up the left side to earn a vital free kick which set up the game-tying goal as time wound down. His last two appearances for the MLS side were dreadful as he got sent off after only seven minutes against the Portland Timers and took part in the 6-1 drubbing by the Philadelphia Union.
PC bounced between the USL and MLS sides this year. He made six appearances — all starts — for OCB, playing 378 minutes. He was strong in the back and in the attack for the young Lions, winning 71.4 percent of his tackles and finishing with a pass completion rate of 72.7 percent. Despite playing sparingly for the reserve side, he contributed to the 12-game unbeaten run OCB had during the season. The young defender found himself on the team sheet for the MLS side on 22 occasions during the season. In total, he played eight games for the Lions, making five starts, and was an unused sub 14 times, accumulating 436 minutes.
In the attack, PC recorded three shots, but his biggest impact was his assist on Rivas’ goal on May 17 against the Earthquakes in the 80th minute in an eventual 1-1 draw. From a discipline viewpoint, the defender was called for 10 fouls, with one caution and one sending off. His caution came on June 24 in Chicago while his sending off was a straight red received on Sept. 24 in Portland, just seven minutes after coming on.
PC’s best game would have to be his first at San Jose. Making his MLS debut, he was very strong on the left, helping the Lions to a 1-1 draw on the west coast. He was a force both in defense and on the attack on the left side, earning a free kick in ninth minute, and hitting the crossbar in the 32nd minute. He led the team that night with five tackles and four interceptions, ending with a 71.4 pass completion percentage. His big moment came in the 80th minute when, after receiving the ball on the wing from Kaka, PC found Rivas near the penalty spot. The striker placed the ball to David Bingham’s left post and in for the game’s opening goal. His performance earned him a man of the match nod from The Mane Land. Here’s a look at PC’s cross, which displayed outstanding vision and precision.
Final 2017 Grade
PC earned a nearly unanimous 4.5 rating from The Mane Land staff for his play this season. While he started off very strong, helping to create two vital goals that led to points in his first three games, his lack of minutes and poor play in the final two games hurt his rating.
PC is still under contract for the 2018 season with Orlando City and is still only 23 years old. With Donny Toia still with the club, the young Brazilian will have to battle against the more defensive-minded veteran for playing time. However, this is a position the Lions could try to upgrade in the off-season and it’s also a spot that DP Yoshimar Yotun can play if Orlando City can add enough quality midfielders to force the Peruvian to the back line.
Most likely, PC will likely find himself mainly on the bench with the first team, receiving a few minutes here and there and getting the occasional start. However, he showed signs of being a very good outside back in 2017 and, given his young age, could still have a future in purple.
Previous 2017 Player Season in Review Posts (Date Published)
- Kaká (10/25).
- Yoshimar Yotún (10/27).
- Dom Dwyer (10/28).
- Seb Hines (10/30).
- Jonathan Spector (10/31).
- Cristian Higuita (11/1).
- Cyle Larin (11/2).
- Carlos Rivas (11/3).
- Tommy Redding (11/4).
- Jose Aja (11/5).
- Hadji Barry (11/6).
- Joe Bendik (11/6).
- Antonio Nocerino (11/7).
- Servando Carrasco (11/8).
- Rafael Ramos (11/10).
- Léo Pereira (11/11).
- Giles Barnes (11/12).