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Could PC Emerge as Orlando City’s Starting Left Back?

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The 22-year-old Brazilian may be cracking the Lions’ starting XI over Donny Toia after strong preseason showings.

Image Courtesy of Orlando City SC

Victor ‘PC’ Giro was one of the last players to join Orlando City SC’s 2017 preseason. Handling visa issues, the Brazilian was only able to meet his new teammates on the last day of January in Jacksonville. Apparently, the 22-year-old left back has been making the most of his limited time with the club, as he has been spotted as part of the Lions’ starting XI in recent scrimmages and friendlies over Donny Toia.

Considering that Orlando City gave up its 2017 first-round SuperDraft pick to bring Toia, and that the former Montreal Impact, Chivas USA, and Real Salt Lake fullback has 79 MLS appearances more than PC — who never competed in the league — the fact that the Brazilian seems to be Head Coach Jason Kreis’ primary option for the left back position is kind of a shock.

His contributions are also being noticed inside the roster, as Servando Carrasco stated in an interview with MLSSoccer.com.

“As a player, I think he’s going to surprise a few people. He’s very athletic, he’s got a good left foot, he can get up and down the flank with ease, and he’s a very good one-v-one defender. He’s very comfortable on the ball and you can see why we signed him”, he said.

The biggest difference between PC and Toia is that while the former Tampa Bay Rowdies and Fort Lauderdale Strikers man can help the team offensively, the 24-year-old Tucson Soccer Academy product is more of a defensive-minded left back.

PC is clearly impressing with his offensive skills, as noticed in Wednesday’s scrimmage against the Philadelphia Union, when the left back starred the most exciting moment of the activity, assisting Will Johnson with a chest pass.

It appears, in fact, that offensive contribution from the fullbacks is something of high praise to Kreis. On the club’s first scrimmage of the season, against Jacksonville University, on Feb. 5, it was right back Rafael Ramos who was in the spotlight, assisting Jonathan Spector and Kaká on the Lions’ first goals.

Indeed, it makes sense that Kreis could be relying more on the fullbacks to create from the sides in 2017. Orlando City’s main wide threat in 2016, Kevin Molino, is now gone. Kaká and Matías Pérez García can both play on the wings, but are undoubtedly more productive in the center of the field. That leaves Brek Shea and Carlos Rivas, who struggled with inconsistency in the last two seasons, as the only options left to play wide.

With PC on one side and Ramos on the other, the Lions could become a very dangerous team as the two young fullbacks have enough energy to feed Cyle Larin with accurate crosses and get back to defense during the full length of a match.

PC’s starting role is obviously not set in stone now, but the Brazilian has definitely put himself in a better position than many thought he could to start the 2017 season.