After three seasons in Major League Soccer and having a legendary player such as Kaká, the Lions have not won a title yet, however, it looks like it can happen sooner than we think.
Since their integration to the MLS in 2015, Orlando City has not qualified to a single playoff stage nor had a well-rounded performance over the campaign, taking in account the 14th (2015), 15th (2016) and 18th (2017) overalls positions on the table.
Furthermore, the infamous Canadian striker Cyle Larin -already gone from the club- became the goal scorer not only on those three seasons, but on the Lions’ short history. In addition, his influence on the field was undeniable since he represented almost all the weight of City´s offensive alongside Kaká, meaning his departure is a huge blow to the team’s way of play.
Nonetheless, Jason Kreis plans for 2018 are nothing but big. He and CEO Alex Leitao “cleaned-up” the club roster when last season ended and rebuilt it signing by signing, making a potentially winning team.
Actually, analyzing every transfer for the Lions, it’s obvious how Orlando City’s management targeted very experienced and talented players that knew what is to score, assist and perform in a high level throughout a MLS season.
For instance, Sacha Kljestan being current top assister of the league is not a minor aspect, also, Justin Meram scoring capacities are a great impulse for the front lines.
On the other hand, continental experience came to help a defense in need. Oriol Rosell’s (Sporting Lisbon), Mohamed El-Munir’s (Partizan Belgrade) and Amro Tarek’s (former Real Betis, Spain) European level will serve to reinforce a weak backline that suffered a lot in 2017 and previous years.
Regarding the youth, Kreis chose South American technique with Josue Colmán while taking national talent with Cam Lindley and Chris Mueller. All of them had shown they a great commitment and skills that will be helpful to the upcoming campaign. In fact, Kreis seems very happy with this young generation of players in Orlando City.
In general, Lion fans can expect a great season with a lot of positive results. Taking in account all the planning for 2018, it’s a safe bet to say Orlando City will accomplish many of their objectives for this year and, maybe, reach that highly-desired trophy that all the City’s supporters want, the MLS Cup.