We are 10 games into this new season, and Orlando City has started it well, especially at home. Since a reasonable number of game weeks have now passed, I think it is time to take a look at how some of the Lions stack up against the rest of Major League Soccer.
I feel it is expected to start with our striker, Cyle Larin. Larin is currently tied for third in goals scored (seven) with Justin Meram of Columbus (who has played two more games), and CJ Sapong of the Philadelphia Union. Larin is only one goal behind the league leaders, Erick Torres and Nemanja Nikolic, who are each sitting on eight goals.
Continuing with Larin, he is currently 22nd in shots taken, with 24 in 10 matches. However, he is second in shots on goal (17), trailing only Sebastian Giovinco. This means that only seven shots taken by Larin have been off target, while he has finished about 41% of his shots on target. There is no doubt that he has been clinical so far this season when given an opportunity in front of goal, outside of that night at Toronto in early May.
If you personally give merit to the Audi Player Index, Larin is also ranked sixth on that list, and is the only Orlando player inside of the top 20.
Next up is Carlos Rivas, who is having quite the season so far in terms of assists. He sits tied for third in MLS with five assists, trailing only Victor Vazquez of Toronto and Alex of the Houston Dynamo.
Our attention now turns to goalkeeper Joe Bendik. He ranks third in MLS for saves with 38 on 54 shots faced, for a save percentage of 70.4%. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of the lists you want to be ranked near the top, as it means the team gives up entirely too many shots on target. He has conceded 13 goals in 10 matches, for a goals-against average of 1.3, which is about par compared to the rest of the league.
Another Orlando player who ranks near the top of a leaderboard is Cristian Higuita, only for yellow cards. He has received four cards on 16 fouls, good for second in the league.
As the season goes on, I expect these players will probably stay within the top five in their respective categories, especially with Kaká back in action. He should also slowly move up the ranks in both goals and assists, and help provide the team with the offensive support it needs to reach the postseason.