Last week, Orlando City signed Yoshimar Yotún to a Designated Player deal. The Lions are currently winless since the end of June and have just two wins since April, and so the arrival of Yotún, in addition to Dom Dwyer, is expected to have a big impact on the team.
When Dwyer was brought in, he was a direct replacement for Carlos Rivas. With Jason Kreis preferring to play in a 4-4-2, this was the obvious choice, as Cyle Larin clearly is not going to be on the bench. Who Yotún comes in for is less obvious, but one player still stands out above the rest.
The four-man midfield has been constant recently — Cristian Higuita, Antonio Nocerino, Kaká, and Will Johnson. Yotún will most likely come in for Higuita. While the entire midfield has been poor this season, Higuita consistently makes poor decisions and turnovers. He also gets caught ball watching way too often.
The Colombian is in the midfield to help break up the attack, and then be a link to bring the ball forward and start the attack. Higuita simply has not been good enough on either end of the field in recent weeks to deserve that spot.
Yotún is a defensive-minded player who is a direct replacement for Higuita. The Peruvian will play alongside Nocerino in the middle of the field in the flat 4-4-2. If Kreis decides to go with the diamond midfield, Yotún slides out to the left with Kaká in the 10 spot and Johnson out right.
Another option is going with a 4-3-3, but this would be a huge change for this point in the season. Kaká has not been close to the standard he should be at, and should take a seat also. In this 4-3-3, Yotún and Nocerino would be joined by Johnson in the midfield. Up top, Rivas joins in with Dwyer and Larin. This provides stability in the midfield, while also adding more to the attack. The Lions are currently near the bottom of the league in goals scored, and adding an extra attacker, with the addition of a playmaker like Yotún, should help Kreis’ team find the back of the net.