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How Orlando City Could Look With Kljestan and Colmán

The new midfielders expand the options for Jason Kreis to set the team up in 2018.

SOCCER: MAY 13 MLS - Sporting KC at Orlando City SC Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Orlando City SC headed to the 2018 Major League Soccer off-season with lots of questions regarding its midfield to be answered. With the departure of regular starters Kaká, Antonio Nocerino and Giles Barnes, it was unclear which direction the team would follow in one of the most important areas of its roster.

With less than two months until the start of the season, things look to be in safe route as the Lions clearly prioritized their midfield when working in the market. The arrival of Sacha Kljestan and the imminent signing of Josué Colmán, which could be announced at any moment, apparently put the club in a good position as it enters the new year.

But how will the new pieces fit together on the field? Well, Head Coach Jason Kreis has a few options on how to set the team up and that’s what we are going to discuss now:

4-4-2 Diamond

Kreis’ preference for this system is well-known but the truth is he didn’t use it too much during his stint with the Lions. With the pieces he has in hand, the diamond could return with Colmán being deployed on top and Cristian Higuita at the base, flanked by Kljestan on the right and Yoshimar Yotún on the left.

Colmán’s speed and dribbling ability make him a good fit to play underneath the two forwards and the Lions could turn into a more dangerous team in the final third in this system. Sacha’s lack of mobility could be an issue against some teams, but the perspective of having him and Yotún playing side by side in the center of the field could help Orlando to keep control and set the pace of every match.

4-4-2 Flat

With the same players on the field, Kreis can decide to organize them a little bit differently, with Higuita and Kljestan in the center of the field and Colmán and Yotún playing wide on the right and left sides, respectively.

Again, this system could be a risky option because of Kljestan’s slow feet and could leave Orlando’s center backs a little bit exposed if he was beaten off the dribble. However, having Yoshi, who is not a real winger but has the tools to be productive in this spot, and Colmán feeding Cyle Larin (or another striker if he’s indeed gone) and Dom Dwyer from the sides could boost Orlando’s offense. Also, the fullbacks would not be demanded to push forward so frequently, being able to provide better defensive coverage.


This system is most likely to be used if Larin is sold, leaving Dwyer as the lone striker. He would have Yotún, Kljestan and Colmán (left to right) feeding him, with Higuita and Will Johnson shielding the back line.

Johnson’s presence alongside Higuita would provide a better defensive stability to the team and the trio in front of them has the skills and the numbers to create several opportunities for Dwyer to score.