My Thoughts On Orlando City SC- From A Sorta Fan

Back in 2011, my introduction to Major League Soccer (MLS) was the dominance of the Galaxy teams of the past. Donovan, Beckham, Keane- figureheads and poster boys for the MLS for years. When those three left, for me, the MLS fell dormant. It was a place where old, nearly-retired players would go to end their careers. Yet it was awoken with quite a ruckus when a Brazillian former Ballon D’or winner decided to move to Orlando. When Kaká chose to play in the United States with a new team, the world seemed shocked. I was too.

My twin brother was a fan of Kaká when he was playing at Real Madrid and AC Milan. On July 1, 2014, my brother found his new favorite MLS team. I would listen to him talk endlessly about the inaugural 2015 team. I remember Donovan, Turner, Ramos, and Ricketts. I remember watching the Orlando City SC v. NYCFC game. I remember Kaká’s free kick goal.

Since then, I have listened to my brother talk about Orlando for years. My brother and I would watch every Orlando game. I would discuss Orlando City with him for hours, and I would keep up with every rumour or news that popped up on the internet.

Why do I find such interest and enjoyment in watching Orlando every game? Is it the tenacious 24 year-old Wide-Midfielder Chris Mueller? Is it the technically-skilled Midfielder Nani? Is it the octopus with the wild hair in between the sticks? Maybe, it’s the bear in the center of the field? Or, maybe it is the wild fans that will run end-to-end to cheer and jeer and support their team?

I watched the 2018 MLS Final when Atlanta United defeated Portland. Going into that season, I knew Atlanta would win the MLS. They had a great team and a great Head Coach. The confidence I had in Atlanta in 2018, is the same confidence I have in Orlando this year. It is to my belief that Orlando will at least win the MLS Eastern Conference this year. I see the talent, and I see the work ethic. I see a great Head Coach, and I see a vocal and dedicated Captain who will never leave the referee alone.

This team is headed by one of the best tacticians in the game. Óscar Pareja is, without a doubt, the best Head Coach in the MLS in 2021. He took the talented teams Heath, Kreis, and O’Connor built- and he added even more talent to them. Not only in the Starting XI, but also in the depth.

There is a World-Cup-Quality Goalkeeper in Pedro Gallese. In the Defense, I see the best trio of Centrebacks in the MLS (Jansson, Carlos, Schlegel), the fastest soccer player I have ever seen in Ruan, and a great one-two punch of Leftbacks; those being Joao Moutinho, and a tax accountant (Kyle Smith). In the Midfield, I see: a bear (Junior Urso), two exciting young players in Méndez and Perea, a great playmaker in Mauricio Pereyra, an MLS Young Player of the Year in Chris Mueller, and a Manchester United and Portugese Men’s National Team icon named Nani. With all of this in mind, I also see, on paper, the best group of Forwards in the MLS. Alexandre Pato- former Serie A/Premier League/La Liga Forward and Wonderkid, former Premier League Forward Matheus Aiás, and longtime MLS Forward Tesho Akindele.

This season seems that it will be the year for Orlando City SC. They have a great amount of technical skill, winning experience, and hard workers. They are headed up by a great Head Coach, and are backed by the best fans in the MLS.