Orlando City SC had a decent first half of the Major League Soccer season. The team never left the playoffs qualification zone and had solid performances from some key players, including goalkeeper Joe Bendik, defender Jonathan Spector, midfielder Will Johnson, and forward Cyle Larin.
Other important names of the squad, however, did not live up to the expectations and hopefully can be more effective when MLS resumes, on July 21. Here are three of them:
Orlando City’s captain had a rough start, getting injured during the first match of the season. Sidelined for five games, the Brazilian came back on fire, scoring three goals in four matches. Since then, he didn’t find the back of the net again, but helped with four assists.
Kaká is not having a bad season, but it is clear that, at the age of 35, his contributing potential is now limited. Head Coach Jason Kreis needs to understand what his physical conditions are and try to make the most of it.
The Italian has been a solid starter at Orlando City’s midfielder, registering 17 matches in 2017 so far. His well-known passing skills are also in display as Nocerino is the second-best passer on the team according to WhoScored.com with 87.1% accuracy.
However, the team is not clearly benefiting from the Italian’s abilities as he is yet to score a goal or record an assist on the offensive end and his performances are not so impressive on the defensive side of the ball. Maybe a slight positional adjustment could help the long-time AC Milan player to improve his game.
With the Portuguese, it’s more about being healthy than really producing on high level. Plagued by injuries, Ramos was only used in two matches in 2017, playing less than 30 minutes in each of them.
Having a good season, Scott Sutter is the logical starter at the right back position, but the Swiss-English could definitely use some help from a solid backup since the fullback role is one of the most physically demanding on the team.