Orlando City has a primary goal-scoring threat in Cyle Larin. But what Larin didn’t have in the early parts of the season was someone who could play the Robin to his Batman — until now.
After going down within the first 10 minutes of the season opener, Kaká has returned to form and recaptured some of his previous glory. Kaká is always a threat with the ball at his feet, as his vision, awareness, and overall technical ability put him in a class of his own — a class that helped him take home the Ballon d’Or in 2007, finishing above both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. If you are not familiar with the Ballon d’Or, it is a title given to the best player in the world.
Needless to say, Kaká is really good at soccer, but being a fan of the Lions you probably already knew this. So when I say Robin to Larin’s Batman, don’t sit behind your computer and take it out of context. One player is in his prime while the other is on the back nine. One player has the primary job to score goals while the other is more of an orchestrator of the the Lions’ offense. So, having Kaká play second fiddle in the goal-scoring department is very much a welcome circumstance. We want Larin to dominate on offense, but he needs backup when he is not at his absolute best and the Lions need another threat, and that is why Kaká has been so special since returning from his injury.
Kaká has scored nine goals in each of his first two seasons since joining MLS. Since his return from injury this season, Kaká has made four appearances, scoring three times so far. It may not seem like a lot considering the Lions have already played in 10 games, but remember that Kaká has missed a lot of field time. Kaká has only managed 229 minutes in five total appearances, which sees him playing only 45 minutes a game.
But the minutes have been used very well for Kaká, who just so happens to be in a contract year with Orlando City. According to WhoScored.com, Kaká averages 1.2 goals per 90 minutes, or about a goal per game. To put it in perspective, Larin, who is also at a high average, is earning 0.7 goals per game as he has found the net seven times on the season.
Kaká is doing this with great efficiency as well. He is currently averaging 1.2 shots per 90 minutes, which puts him at a 1:1 shot-to-goal ratio for the season. Basically, if Kaká shoots the ball at the moment, he will probably score.
We understand that no one man can do it all. While Kaká was maybe looked at as that person when he first arrived in Orlando, this is not the case now. Orlando City is putting out a team of players that all function very well together. They produce good soccer and are winning games as a collective unit. At the forefront of those wins are key players such as Kaká and Larin, among others. Larin is going to lead this team in scoring and Orlando City fans want that to happen, but having Kaká come in at second in the goals department from the midfield is something Lions fans should want just as bad. Right now, this is the path we are on.
Kaká is performing at a high level in limited time on the pitch, and it’s giving Orlando City the second scoring threat it so desperately needed in the first six weeks of the season. On top of this, Kaká still has an ability to be even more deadly for the Lions as he has yet to contribute an assist to the team in 2017. With more time on the pitch and more contributions from Kaká, this team is only going to get better and better, and his individual value is only going to increase more and more along the way.