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Bracketology: The Search for Orlando City Fans’ Favorite Player

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It’s time for a little OCSC March Madness. Review the bracket and select your favorite Lions in our first-round match-ups.

MLS: Toronto FC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last Friday we teased our thoughts for a March Madness-style bracket to determine which Orlando City players are the most popular among our readership (and big props to Ben Miller for the initial idea). We’ve read your comments, floated a potential bracket on Twitter, and have come up with one which we think best represents both eras of Orlando City soccer — USL and MLS. The idea was originally to select 32 players for this “tournament” but when it came time to start making cuts, things got pretty difficult, so we expanded it to 64.

There isn’t an easy formula for this. “Favorite” can mean different things to different people. Some people lean toward those they deem most talented or productive as their favorites. Some players (looking at you, Adrian Winter) simply capture people’s hearts and imaginations without putting up big numbers and become favorites organically for reasons no one can quite put their finger on.

When selecting 64 players out of a pool much larger, you’re always going to leave out someone’s favorite or at least someone’s third or fourth favorite. It’s just inevitable. So, with that in mind, we did the best we could to represent a good cross-section of the club’s players.

Typically, if it came down to multiple players for one spot, we ended up going with someone who had either been with the team longer, had started more games, or perhaps who we felt was simply better known and/or remembered. Some of them you might call “infamous” rather than “popular,” but it’s also fun to vote against someone rather than for someone (see also: most political elections). You might hate some of the players in the bracket, but that’s fine.

Real March Madness tournaments also feature teams that some people think should not have gotten in. This makes for potential upsets or for people to beat their chests and declare how right they were when those teams exit quickly, and both of those things are a natural part of any bracket.

Today, we’ll be tallying your votes for the next 24 hours from the 16 first-round match-ups on the left side of the bracket — the “East Region” and “West Region,” if you will. Tomorrow, we’ll be back with 16 more first-round match-ups from the bracket’s right side (“South” and “Midwest” regions). After that, we’ll perhaps give people 48 hours per round as things get tougher.

Note: If you’re here to quibble about seeding in a pretend contest with no real stakes, let me just emit a preemptive exasperated sigh right now and state for the record that this basically just comes down to gut most of the time — probably not unlike the NCAA tournament selections. I’m not going to spend time or energy defending putting Winter as “low” as a No. 4 seed when the man played all of 22 games for Orlando and scored five goals. You might place him higher, but you did not create this bracket. I did, and I tried to do it fairly. I elicited help from the TML staff and from readers and this is where it ended up. So, instead of arguing, just give him your vote and move on (or not, if you prefer his opponent).

Likewise, just because you might not like a player, or you didn’t follow the team during the USL days, it doesn’t make it “wrong” for one of those players to be seeded highly. So, let’s just assume that yeah, we hear ya and it ain’t gonna change. This is the bracket we’re going with. Forget the seeding arguments and have some fun. I look forward to seeing how the USL guys do and how many “upsets” they can pull.


OK, here’s the bracket, which we’ll update after each round of voting. The polls are available below the bracket. Please note that if you do not see the polls and are reading this site on your mobile device, that some services automatically strip out the polls, but — not to worry — you can still vote on our Twitter feed or here on your desktop or laptop computer.

The 2020 Orlando City March Madness “Favorite Lion” Bracket

Here are the 16 first-round match-ups for you to vote on today:

“East Region” First Round

Poll

Select your favorite Orlando City player between:

This poll is closed

  • 98%
    1) Kaká
    (127 votes)
  • 1%
    16) Justin Meram
    (2 votes)
129 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Select your favorite Orlando City player between:

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    8) Adama Mbengue
    (25 votes)
  • 80%
    9) Aurelien Collin
    (100 votes)
125 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Select your favorite Orlando City player between:

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    5) Tally Hall
    (110 votes)
  • 11%
    12) Kyle Smith
    (14 votes)
124 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Select your favorite Orlando City player between:

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    4) Jonathan Spector
    (121 votes)
  • 3%
    13) Maxwell Griffin
    (4 votes)
125 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Select your favorite Orlando City player between:

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    3) Chris Mueller
    (120 votes)
  • 5%
    14) Pedro Ribeiro
    (7 votes)
127 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Select your favorite Orlando City player between:

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    6) Will Johnson
    (52 votes)
  • 58%
    11) Mohamed El-Munir
    (74 votes)
126 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Select your favorite Orlando City player between:

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    7) Luke Boden
    (86 votes)
  • 32%
    10) James O’Connor
    (41 votes)
127 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Select your favorite Orlando City player between:

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    2) Joe Bendik
    (104 votes)
  • 16%
    15) Josué Colmán
    (20 votes)
124 votes total Vote Now

“West Region” First Round

Poll

Select your favorite Orlando City player between:

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    1) Kevin Molino
    (118 votes)
  • 3%
    16) Victor "P.C." Giro
    (4 votes)
122 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Select your favorite Orlando City player between:

This poll is closed

  • 69%
    8) Tommy Redding
    (85 votes)
  • 30%
    9) Sacha Kljestan
    (37 votes)
122 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Select your favorite Orlando City player between:

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    5) Tesho Akindele
    (107 votes)
  • 11%
    12) Mechack Jerome
    (14 votes)
121 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Select your favorite Orlando City player between:

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    4) Adrian Winter
    (113 votes)
  • 5%
    13) Matias Perez-Garcia
    (6 votes)
119 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Select your favorite Orlando City player between:

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    3) Cristian Higuita
    (118 votes)
  • 3%
    14) Long Tan
    (4 votes)
122 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Select your favorite Orlando City player between:

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    6) Sebas Mendez
    (100 votes)
  • 16%
    11) Ian Fuller
    (20 votes)
120 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Select your favorite Orlando City player between:

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    7) Antonio Nocerino
    (61 votes)
  • 49%
    10) Uri Rosell
    (60 votes)
121 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Select your favorite Orlando City player between:

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    2) Cyle Larin
    (88 votes)
  • 27%
    15) Seb Hines
    (33 votes)
121 votes total Vote Now