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Who Should Start Up Top for City on Saturday?

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With both strikers sidelined, who should step up?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In case you weren’t aware, Orlando City SC’s squad is looking a tad threadbare at the moment. Not only are Yoshimar Yotún, Amro Tarek, and Mohamed El-Munir all unavailable due to national team duty, but Jonathan Spector is also carrying an injury that will likely keep him out of Saturday’s game. On top of all of that, Dom Dwyer and Stefano Pinho are out due to suspension and injury, respectively.

The absence of the two strikers is extremely problematic because they are literally the only two strikers on the roster. While missing Yotún hurts since he’s the Lions’ best player, missing Dom and Pinho is especially problematic from a personnel standpoint, and that’s before factoring in that OCSC hasn’t scored a goal since Sept. 1. So, considering the limited player pool left available to James O’Connor, who on earth should start at striker in Gillette Stadium tomorrow?

Chris Mueller

Probably one of the first options to spring to mind, Mueller is also likely one of the best. While he’s cooled off after his hot start to the season, so has everybody else, and he still proved early on that he knew where the goal was, with a couple good finishes to his name. Mueller would most likely look to make runs in behind the defense and between the center backs, making the most of his energizer bunny-type motor and high work rate that has helped endear him to fans throughout his misery-filled season.

Josué Colmán

The other name likely on the tip of people’s tongues is the Paraguayan’s. While more of an attacking midfielder than a forward, Colmán has quick feet and good skill on the ball. While he’s tended towards hanging onto the ball too long and getting himself into trouble, he’s still a skillful player who could bring some unpredictability to the attacking third. Orlando City just has to make sure it can reach the attacking third first.

Jose Villareal

His is a name that many Orlando fans may have forgotten is on the roster, but he’s also an option to slot in up top. He’s only made two appearances for Orlando City so far this season but during his time with the LA Galaxy Villareal scored a handful of goals, and realistically O’Connor’s cup doesn’t exactly overflow with options. It might not be the worst thing in the world to slot him in up top, provided he’s recovered from a recent knock of his own, and see what he can do.

Someone off the Street

Look I’m not saying I’m an MLS caliber striker, but maybe there’s someone else mucking around on the streets of Orlando who could bang in a few goals for the Lions. Channel the 1970s Philadelphia Eagles, hold some open tryouts, and maybe find Orlando’s Vince Papale. With the team eliminated from playoff contention, what’s the worst thing that could happen, the team still not being able to score goals? Get someone from the front office on this pronto, please.

Okay, I got off track there a little at the end, but realistically I think it should be either Mueller or Colmán, with Mueller being my personal preference. I think he’d be more direct and obviously would work his socks off, which is never a bad thing to have from the player leading the line. Additionally, I think Mueller has a slightly better eye for goal, plus he’s played significantly more minutes this season and I just have more trust in him than Colmán.


Who do you think should play up top for the depleted Lions? Do you agree with my suggestions or was there someone I overlooked? Let me know in the comments.