Who is Dillon Powers? Well, he’s certainly someone I’m bound to call “Austin Powers” at some point. But beyond that, he’s the latest acquisition by Orlando City, which traded Luis Gil to Colorado for him just prior to the closing of the summer transfer window.
Powers was the No. 13 overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft and was the MLS Rookie of the Year in 2013 for the Colorado Rapids after tallying five goals and six assists in his debut season in Major League Soccer. He followed that with five goals and nine assists in 2014, but since then has tailed off in his production, with just four goals and 11 assists in the last two and a half seasons.
Here to help us learn a little more about Orlando City’s newest midfielder is @AbbieMood, the managing editor over at Burgundy Wave, SB Nation’s Colorado Rapids blog. I also answered their questions about Luis Gil.
Looking at his player profile, the most noticeable thing about Dillon Powers is the drop in his production in recent seasons. What do you think caused this?
Burgundy Wave: That's a good question. Some say that Pablo Mastroeni didn't develop him as a player, while others say that Powers wasn't putting in the work. Personally, I think he had a great rookie season and then just fell off. I've seen him at practice and in the off-season and he puts in the work. He tries hard during games, but doesn't really have the speed or vision to keep up sometimes. He does much better playing in the No. 6 or 8 role than in the 10 because he can see more of the field and has more time to make decisions.
What does Powers do well and what parts of his game aren’t fully developed?
BW: Powers seems to stay pretty injury-free, which I realize sounds like I'm grasping for straws, but the Rapids have been plagued with injuries this year and he's been pretty consistent. Powers is also disciplined, so he doesn't get carded very often and doesn't really fly off the handle.
His passing is good, (RapidsRabbi noted that in the past couple seasons, his statistics on chance creation per game always led the team) but he gets beat a lot. The Rapids played him in the No. 10 spot and he is not creative enough or fast enough for that position. As I mentioned above, his strength is in the No. 6 or 8 spot, where he can see the whole field and has more time to make decisions. He is a forward-thinking player, though, which is good for a team that is trying to be offensive-minded.
Orlando City is a team starved for offense and creativity in the attack. Will Dillon Powers help in that area?
BW: I hate to break the news, but probably not. I wish nothing but the best for him, and maybe with a new team and a different coach, he will do better, but he was a part of the Rapids' stagnant offense (averaging 1 ppg, 22 goals for so far this season). Powers has actually been sitting the bench for the last few games because the Rapids have been putting in some of our new players and there was no real place for him.
Big thanks to Abbie from Burgundy Wave for weighing in with her thoughts on a player I am destined to call “Austin Powers” a minimum of five times between now and the end of the season. Here’s to hoping the newest Lion can get back to the form that saw him score five goals with nine assists in 2014.