Mueller’s instant impact on Orlando City, mainly in its attack, has been amazing. The rookie has three goals — second only to Dom Dwyer — and an assist in seven appearances in his first MLS season. Appearing in all seven games, Mueller has made 123 total passes, 94 of which have been considered accurate (76%). But Mueller isn’t just a stats player and here’s why:
Mueller Creates More Space for Dom Dwyer
With the way each is playing, Mueller and Dwyer give opposing defenses fits. The back lines of most MLS teams already focus on Dwyer, giving Mueller more open space to work with in comparison. But if Mueller continues to score goals like he has in recent weeks, teams will have to focus on both players, which will open the field up for Dwyer. The idea of Dwyer, who already scores goals while under pressure, constantly being open with Mueller to accompany him could create a two-headed monster. If this continues, I believe Mueller and Dwyer could both easily eclipse 10 goals.
Mueller’s Play Provides More Depth for Orlando City
With Mueller in the starting 11, Jason Kreis gives himself ample opportunities to have solid forwards and attacking midfielders on the pitch at any time. The lineup from the San Jose Earthquakes match is a great example. Kreis started Dwyer, Mueller, Stefano Pinho, Sacha Kljestan, and Yoshímar Yotun. This allowed him to bench Justin Meram and Josué Colmán, two players who can score at any moment in the game. Meram assisted Dom Dwyer in the 69th minute while Colmán only played 12 minutes. Even with Pinho and Mueller subbing off, not much changed in Orlando’s attack.
It is a bit early to talk about this, but Mueller is already making his case for MLS Rookie of the Year. Mueller is on pace to score double-digit goals this season and his presence as a forward could get enough attention to be considered if he can avoid hitting the rookie wall.
Mueller was brought to Orlando City to score, and, so far, he has done so. It took him a few games to finally net his first goal, but after that first goal he has found his place in the club. If Mueller can keep his play at the level it is currently at, Orlando City can continue to win games. Mueller and Dwyer have the potential to become one of the best scoring duos in MLS this season as both play well off each other. The young forward has proven himself as yet another solid pickup for Orlando City in what looks to be the best off-season the club has ever had. Mueller has the makings of a star player, but for now, he is a solid attacking player who has become a goal scorer that the Lions can rely on.
How many goals will Chris Mueller score this season?
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