Perhaps this article seems a bit random. I mean, who just sits around comparing Orlando City players to Harry Potter characters? Me. I do. Everything in my life seems to come back to Harry Potter.
I was one of those students who hated a book if the teacher made it required reading. So, when I was a freshman in high school my English teacher decided The Sorcerer’s Stone should be required reading and that was it for me. A series that had been sitting atop my to-be-read list was dead to me. When I was 25 I finally decided to consume the world I’d wanted to all those years ago. In a matter of two weeks I’d read every single word. As soon as I finished, I started the audio books. See, I’m a re-reader.
I’ve read my favorite book 16 times and it’s only been out since June of 2013. I read a study recently that re-readers find comfort in it and with my levels of anxiety, it makes sense. Anyway, let’s get to the whole reason you clicked — OCSC players as Harry Potter characters. I could likely match every player to a character, but then this would never end, and well, deadlines.
If you continue reading, there are most certainly spoilers, so let this serve as your warning and don’t get mad at me that you haven’t read one of the greatest stories ever told. That’s on you.
Chris Mueller — Colin Creevey
Colin Creevey was an inquisitive first year at Hogwarts, obsessed with Harry and quidditch. Constantly asking questions, Colin was eager to learn all he could from Harry about the game. After being expelled due to Voldemort’s rule of muggle-borns not being allowed, he joined Dumbledore’s academy. He literally gave his all for his team, and that’s what we see week in and week out with Mueller. They don’t call him the “King of Heart” for nothing. If you follow him on social media, he’s constantly reading up on anything that can help him improve and he seems genuinely interested in learning from his teammates.
Cristian Higuita — Draco Malfoy
During quidditch matches, Draco was focused on results. Even if it meant getting rough. In Higuita’s 95 MLS appearances with Orlando City he’s received 34 yellow cards and five red cards. When he takes the pitch he’s serious (not to be confused with Sirius, though that’s who he almost was, because you know, he did his waiting) and will do what it takes, even if that means taking a yellow every now and then, and again, and again.
Brian Rowe — Severus Snape
OK, hear me out, because if you don’t get this right away, you probably haven’t read the books. Snape gets hated on all series long until he’s dying and finally shares his memories with Harry in The Deathly Hallows. In the chapter “The Prince’s Tale,” we get a look at Snape’s past and everything makes sense. I mean, you can read countless comments on the hate for Rowe, but you can also read story after story on why we need him. Snape never cared what people had to say about him and Rowe doesn’t seem to either. A keeper doesn’t prevent goals alone — he needs the support of his defenders — and he’s done nothing but prove his worth in my opinion. Harry didn’t name his children after just anyone. Sacha was almost my Snape, but I think his character is more accurate.
James O’Connor — Rubeus Hagrid
Hagrid’s most popular phrase to the movie lovers is probably, “Yer a wizard, Harry!” Which is a misquote from the book, but anyway. What Hagrid says most in the series is “I shouldn’t have said that.” That’s because he keeps the kids informed and isn’t afraid to stick up for them, even if it means getting himself in trouble. We definitely saw this of JOC following the match against D.C. United. He’s tired, the players are tired, and the fans are tired of games being called unfairly. This is not a debate on the did-he, didn’t-he call, it’s a statement of how things seem to go against OCSC.
Sacha Kljestan — Ron Weasley
Ron is the lovable, kindhearted friend that gets the hand-me-downs, and still tries to make the best of it. He always shows up. He always supports his friends, and he’s so lovable. Sacha gets a lot of hate from fans, but he does his job in the midfield, point blank. Could he improve? Sure, everyone could improve, but he always shows up when it matters. Like Ron, sometimes he stumbles into game-changing plays to save us all. Ron shows us what love is not only with Hermione, but with others. He sucks up a lot of feelings to make others feel better. Mrs. Weasley would be proud of the work Sacha does to advocate for all. He’s a Professional Ambassador with Athlete Ally, and he even rented out an entire theater so people from all over the city could screen Love, Simon. He partnered with the Zebra Coalition to give half the tickets to their youth members.
João Moutinho — Hermione Granger
Hermione is by the book. You can count on her to have the answers and be there when you need her, even if the favor isn’t returned. In his two appearances with Orlando City, Moutinho has been a thrill to watch. He gets the ball where it needs to be, he’s always where he’s expected to be, he makes the runs, he’s just there. Hermione is an overachiever and always first in her class. Moutinho was (obviously) Los Angeles FC’s pick with the first overall selection in the SuperDraft and he hasn’t disappointed in his short time with OCSC. I think he’s a force to be reckoned with and is one of the key pieces the Lions have been missing. Does he have room to improve? Absolutely, the whole team does, with so many new pieces and new lineups at every corner, they’re still trying to figure out what works.
Dom Dwyer — Harry Potter
Everyone expects “the boy who lived” to be the lone hero. Adults that don’t know him have expectations that they’ve placed on him because of who he is and what he’s been through, or who his parents were, or what they interpret the prophecies to mean. Point blank, Harry is nothing without his tribe of people. He needs Hermione to play by the book, he needs Ron to stumble into greatness, he needs Dumbledore’s tough love, and Hagrid’s directness. He can’t put a head on a ball if no one crosses it to the box. Until recently he’s been the only striker on the pitch. Other teams realized that early and just send three or four guys to cover him. Harry also lashes out a lot in year five, especially when no one will believe him that the Dark Lord had returned. Similarly, we see Dom show his emotions and frustrations when things go uncalled.
Nani — Albus Dumbledore
Professor Dumbledore leaves his mark on everyone with whom he comes in contact. He’s quiet when he needs to be but shares his expertise after a lifetime of hard-learned lessons. Nani brings a new level of play to the team and the coaches. He has had a different type of training up to this point and seems to elevate those around him. Did you see Nani hype up Benji Michel when he subbed in for him against D.C.? Or how about the fact that he called a team meeting, just players, before the New York Red Bulls match? It seemed to make a difference. He’s comfortable taking on a leadership role early even as he learns to navigate MLS play.
PRO Referees — Dolores Umbridge
I think this speaks for itself. Pottermore indicates that her name alone means sorrow (Dolores) and offense (Umbridge). I know people are sick of hearing about how the games are called, but it’s at quite an alarming rate that OCSC is hit with phantom tackles (I’m talking RJ Allen here, not the Rooney incident, so let’s all calm down), reversed goals, and random fouls. Umbridge had her agenda and she stuck to it, even if it meant carving words into the hand of a child. I’m not saying there’s an agenda, but I’m just looking at all OCSC has been through.
That’s how I see some of my favorites. What are your thoughts? Have you considered this before? Am I sharing too much of my fandom? I have several more up my sleeve, but this is already almost 1,500 words so who would you add to the list and why?