Head Coach Jason Kreis already had several options to work with in Orlando City SC’s midfield, but the club’s front office took advantage of the MLS secondary transfer window to go to the market and give him a couple of extra assets in Yoshismar Yotún and Dillon Powers.
If the two new additions are not marquee signings and are not expected to change the team by themselves, they can be really valuable in helping Orlando do a better job taking care of the ball and sustaining possession.
The Lions currently rank 13th in passing success (78.1%) and 16th in possession (48%) in the league and these numbers are expected to be positively impacted by the newcomers.
No more than a decent left back, Yotún clearly benefited from the transition to the midfield, where he developed his game with outstanding passing skills, as the highlight reel released by Orlando City shows.
Over the 15 matches he played for Swedish side Malmö FF in 2017 before signing for the Lions, the Peruvian international recorded an 84.3% passing accuracy, a rate that would put him as the third best passer on Orlando’s roster according to WhoScored.com — considering players with more than five matches.
Powers records 80.5% passing accuracy after five seasons in MLS, but is not being as efficient in 2017, with a career-low 74.8%. However, the 2013 Rookie of the Year had a career year in passing 2016, when he recorded 82.1% efficiency, and is just two seasons removed from recording eight assists in 2014.
It’s hard to envision a midfield where Yotún and Powers would play together when the incumbent starters are Cristian Higuita, Antonio Nocerino, Will Johnson and Kaká, but even not sharing the field together, the two new faces can contribute to make Orlando a better possession team in the short term.