Orlando City announced today that center back Robin Jansson recently underwent a successful surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot. The club expects the defender to miss approximately 12-15 weeks, ending his 2022 MLS season.
The 30-year-old Swede injured his foot in August during training and hasn’t made an appearance since the injury occurred. His last appearance for the club was on Aug. 13 against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Prior to the injury, Jansson had started 22 of the team’s 25 MLS games and five of the team’s six U.S. Open Cup games. The only game he didn’t start in the Open Cup he came on as a substitute. Jansson was an unused substitute in the 2022 U.S. Open Cup Final on Sept. 7 but hasn’t been on the team sheet other than that game.
Jansson ends his 2022 season with 22 league appearances, recording 1,971 minutes with one goal, one assist, and 10 bookings. Since joining the club in 2019, Jansson had made 117 appearances in all competitions (100 in MLS, three in the MLS Cup playoffs, nine in the U.S. Open Cup, four in the 2020 MLS is Back knockout games, and one in the Leagues Cup) with 114 starts for 10,412 minutes. His number of minutes is the most in the club’s MLS era and the third-most in club history. He’s scored five goals in three years with three assists and 29 yellow cards.
The defender is currently on a two-year contract with two option years that he signed following the 2020 MLS season. As a result, Jansson will likely be back in the team for the 2023 MLS season and his current deal could see him remain a Lion through the 2024 MLS season.
What This Means for Orlando
Together with Antonio Carlos, Jansson has been part of one of the best center back pairings in MLS. However, the club has lacked center back depth this season. Rodrigo Schlegel and Thomas Williams are the only natural center backs behind Carlos and Jansson this year. Next in line for that position is the versatile Kyle Smith.
Jansson’s absence is most notable in the team’s final game against the Columbus Crew as Carlos received a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation. As a result, Schlegel and Williams are the only two center backs on the roster and Smith will likely be called into action.
If the Lions beat the Crew and qualify for the 2022 MLS Cup playoffs, the lack of center back depth is something that could become key. Losing Jansson for that potential run is a worst-case scenario come true and highlights that lack of depth as the Lions look to make a postseason run.