With the 2021 season ending, the time on player’s contracts is slowly dwindling. With the Wilf family officially becoming the new owners of Orlando City, who can we expect to receive new contacts and who actually should get new contracts? The Wilf’s have a good amount of money they are willing to spend, but it is unlikely that all the players will receive new contracts. The individuals whose contracts are expiring on December 31, 2021 are Mauricio Pereyra, Andrés Perea, Nani, Alexandre Pato, Emmanuel Más, Ruan, Tesho Akindele, Uri Rosell, Adam Grinwis, Rual Aguilera, and Rio Hope-Gund.
The first player we are going to examine is El Capitan, Nani (34). Nani has played for Orlando since 2019 and has been a key designated player for Orlando. As of October 6th, Nani has 28 goals and 22 assists for Orlando and a 78% passing rate. These are extremely influential statistics that have propelled Nani into the history books of Orlando City, SC. With these stats in mind, is it possible for Orlando to re-sign him? In my opinion, Orlando should do whatever it takes to resign Nani. He is very influential in the play and the morale of the players. Even if Nani could not play all the games in a season, he is an important mentor to young players coming up through the camps.
Mauricio Pereyra (31) is another crucial player whose contract is expiring at the end of the season. He was first signed in 2019 and has played 47 games for Orlando across the 3 years. He has scored 3 times and has 22 assists. Pereyra also has a 82% passing accuracy. These stats can not do justice to just how influential Pereyra is when he is in form. He completely controls the tempo of the game and dominates the midfield, which is not represented in stats. Now should Orlando resign Mauricio Pereyra? The obvious answer is yes. I believe Pereyra is crucial to the creation of chances for Orlando City and the Wilfs should do whatever it takes to keep him in purple.
Andres Perea’s (20) contract is also slowly dwindling. He was first signed in 2020 and has been an on and off starter for Orlando. Perea has played in 45 games and started 25 of them. He has 2 goals and 3 assists, and a passing accuracy of 87%. As a defensive midfielder, these stats don't really say too much, but Perea’s defensive stats also speak for themselves. He wins 84% of his duels and wins 105% of his headed duels while also racking up 30 interceptions. With these stats and taking his age into consideration, I believe Orlando should resign him. Perea has a lot of potential and can be a crucial player in the Orlando midfield.
Ruan (26) is a right back for Orlando City who has been at Orlando since 2019. He has played in 64 games starting in 56 in those games he scored 2 goals and 10 assists. Ruan has a passing accuracy of 79%. Ruan wins 54% of his headed duels, and 120% of his duels while also getting 44 interceptions. With these stats, and considering Ruan’s extreme pace, I believe Orlando should resign Ruan. He is very influential, especially in 2021 in the attacking play because of his speed and he also takes care of his defensive duties.
Tesho Akindele (29) is a striker for Orlando and has been playing for Orlando since 2019. He has played in 72 games and has started in 45. Across those games, he has scored 16 goals and 7 assists. These stats overall, for a striker are not great. Regardless of Akindele’s stats I can not fail to mention that he has never been Orlando’s first choice striker. He normally gets his starts because of absences and injuries. Although I wish Akindele would score more than he does, I still believe Orlando should resign him. Akindele has been consistently there for Orlando and I believe he should stay in purple.
Uri Rosell (29) is a defensive midfielder for Orlando city and has played for Orlando since 2018. Uri has played 61 games and started in 47. He has scored 0 goals and 2 assists over his 4 years. His passing accuracy is 88% which is considerably high compared to the other players I've already mentioned. He has a 92% duel win average and has tallied 91 interceptions. Based on these stats alone, you would think Orlando should resign him. However, over the past 2 seasons, his stats have dropped considerably. In a perfect world Orlando would resign these players, but if there was one that Orlando will not resign it should be Uri. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Uri being on the team. However, I would happily let him go in order to keep Andres Perea.
Alexandre Pato (32) was acquired by Orlando in the 2021 season. He played only 1 game before suffering a potentially career ending leg injury. There were a lot of high expectations for Pato coming into the 2021 season. If there is even the slightest possibility he will recover from his injury and play for Orlando I believe we should try to re-sign him.
Emmanuel Mas (32) is a left back for Orlando City, recently acquired on a one year deal. With the little we have seen from him, only playing in 10 games and a total of 260 minutes, should we resign him? I believe we should resign him specifically for depth purposes. The full back position has been extremely scarce for Orlando due to injury and having another person to play that role can only be a positive.
Adam Grinwis (29) is a goalkeeper for Orlando city. He has had 2 runs here at Orlando from 2018 to 2019 and was just recently re-signed in 2021. Grinwis, although a second choice keeper compared to El Pulpo, has shown up when Orlando needed him the most. He was in the net for the iconic Running of The Wall. I believe Orlando should also resign Grinwis because we will need a back up goalie due to international breaks.
Rio Hope-Gund (22) and Raul Agularia (22) are both young players acquired in the 2021 season. They have not played enough for their stats to carry any real meaning, however I still believe Orlando should resign them strictly for their potential and possible future developments. We can not expect young players to be as successful as Dike or FC Dallas’ Ricardo Pepi, So we can not turn our backs on two high potential young players.
If we had the choice all of these players would get contract extensions but that just isn’t very practical. So based on these player stats and ages these are the players that should be re-signed.