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Who Will Replace PC in Orlando City’s Starting Lineup vs. Minnesota?

A big surprise in the season opening lineup, the Brazilian is suspended and Jason Kreis could go several different ways to replace him.

MLS: FC Dallas at Orlando City SC Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City SC Head Coach Jason Kreis surprised many when he selected Victor ‘PC’ Giro to be part of the team’s starting lineup last Saturday against D.C. United. With the Brazilian left back, who was deployed as a midfielder in the season opener, suspended for next Saturday’s match against Minnesota United, Kreis will have yet another opportunity to think outside the box.

PC was used on left side of the midfield diamond, performing both offensive and defensive duties during the 41 minutes he stayed on the field before being sent off. The image below shows how Orlando lined up:

Several players are still unavailable for Kreis through either suspension or injury, including Sacha Kljestan, Pierre Da Silva, Oriol Rosell, Josué Colmán and Dom Dwyer, but the coach has a handful of different options to replace the Brazilian and here are some of them:

Richie Laryea

The Canadian is the only pound-for-pound replacement for PC as he’s a natural center midfielder. Laryea played 25 minutes against D.C. and did a solid job, connecting 92.3% of his passes according to Getting a start early in the season could boost his confidence and accelerate his progress with the Lions.

Stéfano Pinho

The Brazilian striker didn’t take long to show his credentials, scoring his first goal for Orlando City after entering the match against D.C. during the second half. If he’s the man chosen, Pinho could be slotted up top with Justin Meram, moving Chris Mueller to Yoshimar Yotún’s place, with the Peruvian filling PC’s shoes on the left.

Cristian Higuita

The Colombian didn’t even make the game-day roster against D.C., but he’s a proven MLS starter and could be picked by Kreis. If that’s the case, Higuita would probably be deployed in front of the center backs, moving Cam Lindley a little higher on the field, in a role in which he’s likely to be more comfortable.

Donny Toia

That would be the odd decision. Mohamed El-Munir, who started at left-back last Saturday, can also play midfield, making of him other option to replace PC. That would open a spot at the left back position, one that would be filled by Toia, who was last year’s starter.

Which of these options do you believe would be the best choice? Any other ideas? Please, let us know by commenting below!