Midfielder Dillon Powers joined Orlando City in an 11th-hour trade in the summer transfer window from the Colorado Rapids, in exchange for Luis Gil. Since he has yet to get on the field for the Lions, we haven’t learned much yet about the newest Lion.
Let’s remedy that lack of knowledge, posthaste!
I spoke to the 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year and Notre Dame product after training on Friday to find out about him as a player, his transition from Colorado, his role with the Lions, and more. Here’s the interview:
Which of your new teammates have helped you out since your arrival in getting settled in?
Dillon Powers: I’ve spent a lot of time with Servando Carrasco and Donny Toia, and I knew a couple guys from the past. I knew Earl Edwards from the national team. But, for the most part, a lot of guys have been really welcoming.
How has the transition been from Colorado Rapids to Orlando City?
Powers: It’s been obviously an abrupt transition but I’ve been trying to get my feet sorted and set all the things off the field and on the field. Overall it’s been a great experience. The club’s been really welcoming. The team’s been welcoming. So now it’s just about seeing if I can compete for a spot and help this team the best I can.
After coming up with Colorado, what are you seeing with this new club that stands out to you?
Powers: There’s differences in every organization. Colorado treated me well over the years. Orlando seems to have a lot of bases covered and made my transition easy. It makes it easy as a player to focus on the on-field stuff. They’ve really taken care of the off-field stuff as best they can. As far as the ethos here football-wise, I really like it because we value playing soccer, we value keeping the ball, we value a lot of things that I personally do. So I think personally it’s a good fit and that’s why I’ve enjoyed it so far.
The thing that jumps out at fans looking at your career from a statistical standpoint after the trade is a drop in production after your first two seasons. What would you say contributed to that?
Powers: It’s hard to pinpoint one thing in particular. I think there are a lot of variables. Last year in particular our team had a great season. My numbers weren’t great, but having said that, I think I was still able to contribute beyond just those stats. There’s more than just the goals and assists that come into play. For example, last year I felt I grew a lot as a player but maybe the stats didn’t show that. I’m hoping I can do a combination of both — feel like I’m developing still and put a few more numbers on the board.
What has Jason Kreis told you about how he sees your role here?
Powers: In our discussions he’s kind of said that I would fit one of the midfield roles as either an 8 or a 10. So I’ve just tried to learn a little bit of the formation and different defensive and offensive tactics and try to apply those as best as possible.
What do you see as your best position and who are some of the players you’ve tried to emulate as you’ve grown as a footballer?
Powers: I obviously played at both 8 and 10 over the years. I grew up more playing the 8 role which I think I prefer a little bit but in this system it’s a little more interchangeable, which is nice, because you can get a little of both. I’ve always kind of modeled my game after Xavi and Iniesta from Barcelona with a few others sprinkled in. But I like to keep the ball, I like to play forward passes, and help connect the game.
After seeing Orlando City Stadium as both a visitor and now as a member of the home side, what are your impressions of the game experience in Orlando?
Powers: It’s world class. It’s fantastic. The stadium is beautiful. The fans are nonstop. I was just thinking about it the other day. It’s really a huge advantage just to have that — you hear it all the time, and it’s a cliché to say the 12th man, but it really is the life blood of this team — to just push us on and push us on. Although I wasn’t on the field I could literally feel that in the stadium, so that was really cool.
You’ve come from a low-scoring team in Colorado to another low-scoring team in Orlando. Is offense something you can contribute to this club moving forward?
Powers: Yeah, I hope so. I think we have so much talent in this attack – almost too much. I think it’s just about execution at this point and really believing in ourselves to push over the line – and then when we do find that goal to have the professionalism to close out the game.
Hopefully Dillon will soon make his Orlando City debut, but at least for now, you’ll have a better sense of the man wearing the purple shirt when he takes the field with the Lions.