As it stands today on July 2, we are approaching the summer transfer window. Orlando City is in the midst of an eight-game losing streak after getting thrashed at Atlanta this past Saturday which has shed light again on the fact that Orlando City has gone through a lot in the past couple of weeks. Most of you know by now that James O’Connor is the new manager in town from Louisville City and he will obviously have a plan and a direction for this team.
With the transfer window nearly here and the future uncertain, no one really knows what is going to happen over this transfer window for the cardiac cats. The Lions currently rank ninth in the Eastern Conference but are only four points out of playoff contention. This poses an interesting dilemma as to what direction the Lions should choose to go throughout the rest of this season and here are some of The Mane Land staff’s thoughts.
So, what will Orlando City do with the upcoming window?
“It’s going to sound funny... but nothing! We’ve had so much transition that I’d love to see Orlando City build more chemistry with what it’s got.”
“Honestly, my opinion is that no moves need to be made. Maybe a backup striker, but in this window, with an assumed lack of assets in both Targeted Allocation Money and General Allocation Money from everything the club did this off-season, I’d expect that City can’t really get anyone that will have that big of an impact anyway. The team has enough to figure out and bringing in new players isn’t going to help at this point.”
“I don’t anticipate a ton of moves in the summer transfer window. To start with, Orlando City made a bunch of moves prior to the season, and spent plenty of money to do so. Add to that the time it will take for O’Connor to get settled and decide which players on the current roster meet his needs, and it makes it less likely it’ll do much. There is a need for an additional striker, and I could see OCSC making a move in that direction. There’s also the possibility that it sells off someone like Cristian Higuita, but that might not happen until O’Connor gets settled in.”
The Bearded Guy
“Dom needs some help. I believe once James O’Connor gets the boys to buy into his tactical choices, the club has the defensive, and midfield players to fill the appropriate roles. Where the club is lacking is in the striker position. The club needs another tall, physical, holding striker to run shoulder-to-shoulder with Dom. Too many teams have figured out how to handle the club up top, and I firmly believe that having another dangerous body in the attacking third will go a long way. I also expect to see a lot more of Josué Colmán and Pierre Da Silva, and see a shift of current players in terms of starters and subs.”
The running trend throughout the staff is that not much will occur in the transfer window for Orlando City and that is probably the most likely scenario with the entrance of a new head coach and All-Star Yoshímar Yotún returning from the World Cup. Anything can happen though, and here are some of the things that could go down.
Again this is the most likely scenario that O’Connor and the Lions choose to take over the transfer window. It will likely take the new manager time to instill his formation, tactics, and other obvious things that come with a change of scenery. The likelihood of nothing being done is also high due to the fact that quality players are returning from injury to the starting 11 or the 18-man squad just about every week, so chemistry should begin to build as the second half of the season picks up. The likes of Scott Sutter, Jonathan Spector, and Dom Dwyer being back on the pitch should surely help bring the Lions back to their winning ways and bringing in new faces may mess up that chemistry in the final stretch.
Orlando Adds Attackers
Over the eight-game losing streak the Lions have been terrible in terms of attacking. Orlando City has not scored since the 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps on June 9, tallying 270 minutes without a goal. Dwyer has been the main scorer for Orlando but it has been obvious that he can’t do it alone. The idea that Orlando City could add attacking depth while Dwyer is the only player with more than five goals on the squad is not outlandish. With teams like New York City FC and Atlanta United racking up about two goals per game, Orlando may look to bolster its attack and try and compete with the powers of the Eastern Conference.
Lions Add Set Piece and Counter-Attack Help
Dwyer is a capable goal scorer but he definitely lacks a height advantage against opposing defenses. Orlando has only four set piece goals while giving up eight, so the club could use help on the offensive and defensive ends of set pieces. Meanwhile, Orlando has struggled to score and to prevent counter-attack goals. Again, the Lions could use guys with pace and agility to either help fuel the counter or help stop it. These two areas have been an issue for the Lions all season and addressing these problems by adding a tall, bulky attacker and a speedy midfielder or defender that can shut down counter attacks would greatly help a team that needs to improve in both areas.
Again, it’s difficult to say what Orlando and O’Connor will do starting on July 10. The season has been so up and down and has had many surprises so it is quite possible that the Lions could be active throughout the transfer window or be silent. Either way, O’Connor will have to instill a sense of confidence and hope for this team and his presence will hopefully lead to positive things for the near future.
Anything we missed? Let us know your thoughts on what Orlando City should do in the upcoming transfer window in the comments section below.