Orlando City signed Michael Halliday to a Homegrown Player contract on July 15, 2020. Halliday had been part of the Orlando City system since 2016, coming up through the club’s developmental academy. He was the eighth Homegrown Player signed by the Lions. After spending the 2020 season with Orlando City B, he moved up to the first team for the 2021 season and saw some limited action when fullbacks ahead of him on the depth chart were out.
This year, there were fewer opportunities for Halliday to play with the first team as Ruan, Joao Moutinho, and Kyle Smith didn’t miss many games, so he got some additional minutes at OCB in MLS NEXT Pro.
Let’s take a look back at his second season on the senior team roster.
Halliday made his season debut on May 10 against the Philadelphia Union in U.S. Open Cup play. He played in two U.S. Open Cup matches in 2022 (one start), tallying 107 minutes without scoring or assisting on a goal or attempting a shot. He completed 76% of his 46 pass attempts and made two key passes. He contributed two interceptions, committed two fouls, and was not booked, as he helped the Lions defeat the Union and draw Inter Miami en route to the cup.
In regular-season play, Halliday made just five appearances without any starts and only logged 45 minutes. He did not score a goal or assist on one and did not attempt a shot. He completed 89% of his 28 pass attempts. He registered two tackles, committed one foul, suffered one foul, and picked up one yellow card.
Halliday also appeared in Orlando City’s playoff game at Montreal, playing just three minutes and completing both of his pass attempts.
The bulk of Halliday’s minutes this season came with OCB, where he appeared in five matches (all starts) for the MLS NEXT Pro side, logging 405 minutes. He did not score or assist on a goal, attempting one shot (off target) and passing with four key passes and an 83% overall passing accuracy. He contributed nine interceptions, but just a 42.3% duel success rate and a 28.6% headed duel success rate.
As most of Halliday’s appearances were brief ones off the bench, I’m going to go with his only start of the year — in Orlando City’s 2-1 U.S. Open Cup victory over the Philadelphia Union. Halliday played a season-high 77 minutes for the senior team in the match, setting up two scoring chances with key passes, although he did not record an assist from them. His passing rate of 72.7% could have been better, but considering the level of the competition, Halliday held his own and the Union didn’t get their goal until just after the Homegrown fullback had been subbed off for Ruan. If you watch the goal, it’s doubtful Halliday could have been more passive on the Union’s goal than Ruan was.
2022 Final Grade
Because Halliday didn’t reach the minimum minutes to receive a fair grade, The Mane Land rating will be an incomplete — just like last season. The young fullback was fairly solid in his limited minutes, which is a good starting point. There is plenty of potential with Halliday and it remains to be seen if he’ll start to get more minutes or need to change clubs to get a chance to step into a bigger role. He’s still young — he will turn 20 in January — so there’s no rush to give him a bigger workload, however, he’s starting to move into his key developmental years as a professional, so more minutes in the next year or two are crucial.
Halliday’s initial Homegrown contract ran at least through 2022 but at the time of his signing the club wasn’t quite as transparent about option years. Halliday has shown glimpses of what he can do and would be a valuable depth player to retain, which we expect Orlando to do. He is a potential future starter if his development continues but he’s also probably going to be hearing the footsteps of fellow Homegrown Alex Freeman coming up behind him. We still see the club thinking of him primarily in a depth role in 2023 if he remains in purple next season.