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2020 Orlando City Season in Review: Oriol “Uri” Rosell

Despite missing time due to injury, the veteran midfielder improved in his third season with Orlando City.

SOCCER: JUL 25 MLS - Orlando City SC v Montreal Impact

Uri Rosell was acquired from Portuguese side Sporting CP prior to the 2018 season during the Jason Kreis era. He did enough to warrant a new two-year deal following the 2019 season and earned a starting spot in Óscar Pareja’s lineup. Unfortunately for the Lions and Rosell, he got injured and was out for 13 games from mid-September until the playoffs.

The Spaniard is the epitome of consistency, and was often described as putting in workmanlike performances. Rosell is not a flashy player, but his hard work, good attitude and experience made him an integral part of Orlando City’s success in 2020.

Let’s take a look at the veteran midfielder’s 2020 season.

Statistical Breakdown

Rosell played in eight league games this season. He started all eight of those games and accumulated 585 minutes on the field. He also appeared in all four of Orlando City’s knockout round games in the MLS is Back Tournament, as well as both playoff games. Rosell was a first choice starter for Pareja when not injured.

As a defensive midfielder, Rosell is responsible for moving the ball from the back line up through the midfield and into the attack. He did not have any goals or assists, nor did he take any shots in the regular season. However, he did manage one shot during the MLS is Back Tournament, and one in each of Orlando City’s playoff matches. He committed 16 fouls during the regular season, and three in the playoffs. On the other end he suffered six fouls in all competitions. Defensively, Rosell ended the season with 20 interceptions, 35 tackles, 12 clearances, and one blocked shot through all competitions. He completed 89.3% of his passes in the regular season, and 90.7% in the playoffs. He had 59 long balls, one cross, and five key passes in all competitions.

Best Game

Rosell’s best game was the 1-1 draw over Atlanta United FC on Sept. 5. The Spaniard steered Atlanta’s attack to the outside and was integral in keeping the Five Stripes from scoring more than one goal. He had a 90% passing rate, a team-high eight tackles, three interceptions, a clearance, and a blocked shot. Rosell’s performance earned Man of the Match honors from The Mane Land in our player grades for the match, and from both Michael Citro and myself on The Mane Land PawedCast.

2020 Final Grade

I wrote a piece before Rosell’s injury pointing out how important he was to the Lions’ success up to that point in the season. His passing percentage, and long ball accuracy are exactly the skills you want in a defensive midfielder. He’s not the fastest, but he does know what Pareja expects, and he typically delivers on it. During the season, Rosell averaged just above a 6 in The Mane Land’s player grades pieces, and received a composite grade of 6 in last season’s review. However, upon reflection The Mane Land staff realized that despite the injury time, Rosell improved his game in 2020 and gave him a final composite grade of 6.5.

2021 Outlook

Though Rosell was left unprotected in the MLS Expansion Draft, the 28-year-old was not selected and will be in purple next season. There was a five-match stretch in only 15 days where Rosell started and played 340 of his 585 minutes. At the time, it looked like he might be Orlando City’s iron man, though we now know it took a bigger toll than first thought. Barring additional injuries, and with a more regular schedule for 2021, I expect that Rosell will come back better next season. I’m basing that on how effective he was when he returned following his injury. Statistically he was every bit as good in the playoffs as he was during the regular season, even after missing all those matches. Additionally, he will be playing for his money as he’ll be in the final year of his contract.


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