When you think about Orlando City SC, you probably think of many of the high profile players on the team, Nani, Pedro Gallese, Mauricio Pereyra, and Daryl Dike, just to name a few. These individuals are important assets to Orlando’s success, however there is one individual that throughout the 2021 season has saved Orlando countless times but continues to get snubbed. This man is our very own accountant, Kyle Smith.
Kyle Smith at the start of the 2021 season was no one's ideal fullback for Orlando. However, I believe that he has proven himself to be more crucial to the team than Ruan and João Moutinho. He played a full 90 in the first 14 games of the season and started the first 18 games. Kyle was the only player to be healthy enough to consistently show up game after game for Orlando.
Kyle’s health and stamina are not the only aspects that make him a necessary cog in the machine that is Orlando City. In the 2021 season so far, Kyle has 44 clearances, 8 blocks, 12 interceptions, as well as several spectacular goal line clearances. Kyle is not only useful with his defending skills but his passing and attacking presence is also very significant. Kyle has an 82% passing rate. Now, compare that to the 4 men I mentioned earlier: Nani-79%, Gallese-74% Pereyra- 84%, and Dike-67%. This shows that Kyle Smith, even though he may not be one of the biggest names in Orlando, he definitely has enough quality. Kyle Smith has put his body on the line several times for Orlando but has never gotten the respect he deserves, and that is why he is my unsung hero.