Victor “PC” Giro was signed by Orlando City in January of 2017 on a four-year deal. In his first season with the Lions, PC was used sparingly, appearing in eight games (five starts) in 2017 and spending a good chunk of the season with OCB.
Beginning the season as an attacking midfielder, PC wasted no time in drawing the ire of Orlando City fans, getting sent off for a wayward elbow in the opening match against D.C. United. He was used both in the midfield and at fullback in 2018, but never really found a home and could get no consistent minutes, meaning every rust-laden mistake was magnified and he became a popular pariah for Lion Nation.
How did his 2018 season stack up against the rating of 4.5 that we gave him last year? Let’s take a look.
The Sao Paulo native returned in 2018 on the second year of his deal and ended up again making eight appearances in MLS play with five starts, although this time around he did not have OCB games as the squad was on hiatus for the season. He played 418 MLS minutes this season, compared to 436 in 2017. His biggest improvement was likely going from a 72.7% passing percentage last year to 85% in 2018. PC failed to record a goal or an assist, attempting six shots (compared to three last year), but only getting one on target (0 in 2017). So, there were definite signs of improvement in some areas of his game.
Defensively, he averaged 1.6 tackles, 1.8 clearances, an interception, and 0.3 blocked shots per game. Those numbers are comparable to RJ Allen, Donny Toia, and Scott Sutter. Comparing those numbers, it’s clear that statistics don’t tell the entire story defensively with PC.
In terms of discipline, PC went from 10 fouls committed, a yellow card, and a red card in 2017, to six fouls, a yellow, and a sending off in 2018. Last year he drew 10 fouls and this year he drew only seven. So, it was pretty much a repeat of last season on the discipline front.
In U.S. Open Cup matches, PC made one 90-minute appearance, scored a goal on two shots, committed two fouls, and drew three.
As it was with several of the players who didn’t see the field a lot, the 3-0 U.S. Open Cup victory over Miami United FC was PC’s best game of the season. Starting on the left side of the attacking midfield, he had two shot attempts, one on goal, and he scored. He was part of the buildup play that led to Dillon Powers’ first goal as a Lion, making it 2-0 to Orlando City at the time.
PC then put the game away with a goal of his own. Well positioned when Sacha Kljestan stole an errant back pass, PC drifted into space, waited for Kljestan’s pass, then smashed it into the net for his first goal as an Orlando City player.
2018 Final Grade
PC showed some improvement from his first to his second year, however, it was a pretty disappointing year overall. His defensive work, if anything, was worse in 2018, as he continually lost track of attackers when he played fullback and gave the ball away cheaply to put his teammates under pressure. He didn’t track runners well, and didn’t deny crosses either. As a result, despite some statistical improvement in some areas, the staff of The Mane Land handed PC a composite grade of 4 for the 2018 season — half a point below his rating last year. Although his individual game average grade was 4.5, there were games where the Lions may have been better off playing with 10 men. An example of that was the rating of 2 he received in the Lions’ 2-0 loss to New York City FC on July 27.
By far the worst player on the field tonight and it started out early on. A bad pass in the fifth minute led to the NYCFC opportunity that needed an Edwards double save. He missed a great chance to open the scoring in the 17th minute from about 10 yards out. New York City’s second goal was PC’s fault, as he mistimed his challenge in the box, sliding into next year, as Anton Tinnerholm easily got past him, shot, and scored. PC did almost create a goal in the 50thminute after good ball movement and ran up the field but the chance ended with a turnover in the final third. New York City got a goal that was called back for an offside in the 75th minute but PC got lucky as he was caught ball watching and Morález was wide open. In the dying minutes, he kept two NYCFC players onside. Luckily he made the tackle to stop the attack, but it could have been called for a foul. In his second start of the year, PC finished with 75% passing accuracy and three tackles.
A full season bouncing between MLS and the USL clearly didn’t improve PC’s defensive instincts, awareness, or technique. He’s played a lot of left back in his career but it just isn’t translating to the MLS level.
As mentioned above, Orlando City signed PC to a four-year contract in 2017. That would make him a Lion through the 2020 season — if those are four standard years and not additional options, and we don’t have that level of detail — unless he is sold, loaned out, or bought out. At $95,312.50, PC doesn’t represent a very big cap hit and has some versatility to play multiple positions. I suspect he’ll be back due to being inexpensive (and still under contract) because there may be a future for him as a midfielder or a wingback where there doesn’t seem to be one at fullback without a lot more development. He’ll turn 25 early in the 2019 season, so he could still improve and develop under the right tutelage.
While many fans are probably ready to move on from PC, it’s unlikely that the Lions would use their one contract buyout for 2019 on a guy making $95k. Unless he’s loaned out or Orlando City can find a buyer, he’ll likely be asked to provide depth again next season.