Orlando City made a ton of moves this off-season. The club addressed nearly every position of need, including bringing on Oscar Pareja as the new head coach. The Lions also added midfielders Andrés Perea and Júnior Urso, center backs Rodrigo Schlegel and Antônio Carlos, and goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.
The one type of player the club didn’t bring in though was a big time striker. Numerous times on The Mane Land PawedCast, we spoke about the need for Orlando City to get an MLS 3.0 type forward. So far, the Lions have not done so, but is another striker really needed?
Yes, of course!
Last season, the Lions scored 44 goals and gave up 52 for a negative goal differential. The Lions improved on defense last season, but it wasn’t enough to make the playoffs. Yes, they’ve shored up the defense even more heading into the 2020 season, but they still need to score more goals if the club is going to reach the promised land.
Nani was the club’s top scorer with 12 goals, and he added 10 assists. He was far and away the most productive offensive piece for Orlando City, but Nani is not a striker. The 11 players in the league that scored more goals than Nani were all forwards.
Tesho Akindele had a career-high year with 10 goals and that will be hard to repeat. Dom Dwyer had an off year to say the least, with seven goals and four assists. Even if he gets back on track, he’s not the Carlos Vela or Josef Martinez type of striker that single-handedly changes a game. That’s the type of offensive player the Lions need and the club should bring in an MLS 3.0 prototypical striker.
No, it’s fine.
Nani was brand new to the team and had nearly no down time after leaving Sporting CP. With an off-season of rest and more time with the team, he could continue his good form or maybe even surpass it. He was involved in 22 goals and I think that number will actually increase, even if he gets more assists than goals in 2020.
Akindele had a career year and is now reunited with his former coach. Pareja knows what the Canadian striker is capable of and how to put him in a position to succeed. Orlando City also drafted Daryl Dike. Dike is the big striker that won’t be put off the ball that was missing for most of last year. Yes, he’s a rookie, but so was Cyle Larin, and we all remember how well he did in his first year. I’d even say that Dike is more versatile than Larin was given his ability to hold up play and contribute in the passing game.
Finally, there’s Dwyer. Does anyone really think Dom won’t have a bounce-back season in 2020? I’m on record saying I expect at least 15 goals from him this year. Given reports from training and his preseason performances it seems he is on a mission to prove he is still a top notch striker. Orlando City doesn’t need another striker, since it will score plenty of goals by committee in 2020. Plus, how much would the club need to spend to get a player like Vela or Martinez? With all the other offensive options, and the club trying to get out from under cost-prohibitive contracts, it may be better to wait on a big-time striker for now.
Now that I’ve argued against myself, I want to know what you think. Vote in the poll, and put your comments below.
Does Orlando City need a Big Time Striker?
This poll is closed
Yes, of course!
No, it’s fine.