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2022 Orlando City Season in Review: Joey DeZart

Let’s look back at the backup midfielder’s 2022 campaign.

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Orlando City SC Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Midfielder Joey DeZart was selected by Orlando City in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. The Wake Forest product played sparingly in 2020 and his role increased slightly in 2021. With that, the Lions picked up DeZart’s second contract option year for 2022 on Dec. 1, 2021.

However, with the addition and emergence of MLS U22 Initiative signing Cesar Araujo, DeZart’s playing time dropped dramatically in his third MLS season and his participation was largely limited to helping Orlando City B in the reserve side’s inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season.

Let’s take a look at the midfielder’s 2022 MLS season.

Statistical Breakdown

It was slim pickings for DeZart in 2022. He made one appearance off the bench for the senior team, playing two total minutes without a goal, assist, key pass, or a shot attempt. He had a 100% passing accuracy rating on his three total attempts. He registered no defensive statistics or disciplinary activity.

He made the team sheet just 13 times on the season (all for MLS games and none in the U.S. Open Cup) but simply wasn’t used, and it’s unfortunate that his season was cut short due to a knee injury he sustained while playing for OCB.

DeZart made seven appearances (all starts) with OCB. He contributed no goals or assists for the Young Lions, passing at an 80.3% rate. He attempted two shots, with one on target, and recorded six key passes. DeZart made four tackles, conceded five fouls, and won 10 fouls with OCB.

Best Game

DeZart’s best game in 2022 was easy to spot, since he only made one senior-team appearance. He came off the bench late in a 3-1 home loss to FC Dallas on May 28. DeZart played just two minutes and obviously contributed no goals or assists in his six total touches, but he did complete all three of his passing attempts for a 100% rating in his limited time. He posted no defensive or disciplinary statistics and was dispossessed once.

2022 Final Grade

With his dearth of MLS minutes, DeZart did not see enough action to fairly warrant a grade for his 2022 season. The Mane Land must grade his year as incomplete. This was not the season the midfielder would have wanted after playing enough to earn a 5 out of 10 in 2021. That was the same grade our staff gave DeZart in his rookie season of 2020.

2023 Outlook

After such a diminished role in 2022, in which DeZart could have at least made the bench later in the season (if not for his knee injury) after the departure of Sebas Mendez to LAFC, his future with Orlando City seems in doubt. The Lions would need to re-sign DeZart to bring him back and he just doesn’t seem to be in the club’s future plans after three seasons in Orlando. At just 24 years old, DeZart could resurrect his career with a solid performance in the USL Championship and he could conceivably sign with another MLS side. Although Orlando could bring him back, we think it’s less likely than DeZart moving on.


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