Orlando City has addressed its needs well in summer transfers. Servando Carrasco, Adrian Winter, Matias Perez Garcia, and Jose Aja are some of the names that headline that list. However, this year’s pickups — Dom Dwyer, Yoshimar Yotún, and Dillon Powers — may give the Lions the personnel needed to make the MLS playoffs.
Out of the previous signings, Winter is arguably the best player, but his MLS tenure was way too short. When Winter was in, he provided a flare and creativity to the Orlando midfield to go along with a work rate that few players have been able to bring to the team.
Aja has made the biggest impact, and has been starting for Lions Head Coach Jason Kreis this season. However, he is not a player that will transform Orlando into a playoff side on his own.
The signing of Dwyer has countless benefits. The two biggest are his workhorse mentality and ability to find the back of the net. He is the type of player that all teams can benefit from, and, given time, will push the Lions into the playoffs.
The problem is that Orlando City does not have time. The Lions are currently five points out of the playoffs with two fewer games to be played than the sixth- and seventh-placed teams. The solution to that problem is Yoshi.
Yoshimar Yotún is a defensive player with the ability to control the midfield and send the ball anywhere on the field. In his single game in MLS play, the Peruvian native showed glimpses of why the Orlando City front office signed him to a Designated Player contract. With the Lions’ midfield unable to control the ball and give any sort of service to the forwards, the arrival of Yoshi is vital.
With Dywer and Yotún, Dillon Powers could go under the radar. It is true that Powers’ production has dropped off recently, but, with Kaká playing well below the standard and on red card suspension, Powers could see time in the No. 10 role. It is time for his fresh start and a chance to bring back his 2013 Rookie of the Year magic. With Yotún, the midfield will finally start to connect passes so the Lions could actually build an attack and hold possession.
With 10 games left on the schedule, Orlando City has no room for mistakes now. The entire team needs to step up, and the three newcomers need to get field time together as they will be the reason the Lions make the playoffs this year.