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2019 Orlando City Season in Review: Sebas Méndez

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How did the Ecuadorian perform in his first year as a Lion?

MLS: Montreal Impact at Orlando City SC Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City officially announced the signing of Ecuadorian International Sebas Méndez on Dec. 28, 2018. The defensive midfielder transferred into the MLS from Independiente del Valle.

About his signing, Muzzi said, “Sebas is a very exciting, young player who we’ve been following for a while. He adds a level of versatility, athleticism, and overall quality to our team.

So, how did the midfielder perform during his first year in purple?

Statistical Breakdown

In his debut season in purple, Méndez played 23 games, starting in 20 of them for a total of 1,814 minutes in regular season play. He attempted 10 shots with none on goal. He registered no goals, no assists, and earned seven yellow cards. He averaged 2.4 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 1.7 fouls, and 0.6 clearances per game. He averaged almost 60 passes per game with 90% accuracy.

In the U.S. Open cup Sebas played two games, starting in both for a total of 195 minutes and earning a yellow card.

Best Game

I think I have to go with the 5-1 victory over Cinicinnati where the Ecuadorian played with grit and intensity. As TML’s Andrew Sharp stated in his player grades:

“Even without his usual midfield partner, Uri Rosell, Sebas Méndez totally bossed midfield as usual. He led the team with a staggering 100 touches and made a team-high 91 passes, including one key pass. Perhaps more astonishingly given the volume, he was second for passing accuracy at 93%, as he provided a link between both flanks in the middle of the park. He was also the second biggest contributor defensively, making three tackles, one interception, and one clearance, but his tackling was sloppy. He picked up a first half yellow for taking a nibble at Frankie Amaya as the 2019 first overall draft pick accelerated away from him, but the risk of a sending off did little to clean his act up. I’m surprised he wasn’t substituted instead of Cristian Higuita but that doesn’t detract from how excellent he was.”

2019 Final Grade

Méndez was a welcome addition to a midfield, as we often mention, that has been overcrowded. He adds a burst of skill, energy, and intensity when he takes the pitch. I’d really like to see the connection with Méndez and Mauricio Pereyra as we move into next season. The Mane Land staff gave Méndez a composite rating of 6.

2020 Outlook

I think we’ve only just begun to see what Méndez has in store for Orlando. He was a Luiz Muzzi signing, he’s young, and continues to be called up to the Ecuadorian National Team. In an overloaded midfield, where I expect there to be trimming, I can’t picture a scenario where Méndez isn’t back.


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