As the initial game approaches OrlandoLionsDen analyses every aspect of the team to decide which should be the main formation for this season. Now, after choosing Joe Bendik as the main keeper, here we go with the defense.
With 58 goals received last season the Lions must improve their performance in the backline if they wish to reach the playoff. It’s imperative for Jason Kreis to build a solid defense that can resist or adapt in every match while the forwards try to make the advantage.
In fact, the last game of the season ended in a very-disappointing lose to Philadelphia 6-1 leaving both a bad taste and image to the Lions fan. However, after the “cleansing” Kreis did, it seems Orlando City kept all the guys needed to develop a serious defensive wall, moreover, European experience came in this transfer window.
Mohamed El-Munir and Amro Tarek bring a whole new bag of possibilities to choose from since they, as polyvalent players, can perform in different positions.
For instance, El-Munir can support in the offensive playing as a winger or an open-wide midfielder, reinforcing all the left wing and helping Justin Meram. On the other hand, Tarek is capable of play as a center-back or a right-back, granting multiple choices to Kreis when making an initial roster.
In relation to the guys from last season, José Aja, Jonathan Spector and Scott Sutter are the main names to look forward. Both Aja and Spector suffered injuries back in 2017 while Sutter played almost all of the MLS matches.
Regarding Sutter and Spector, they are experimented players with still a lot to demonstrate in the MLS. Although they are both 31 years old and come from higher-level leagues such as England Premier League and Switzerland First Division, their dedication shows how committed they are to reach Lions’ most-desired dream: lifting a MLS Cup.
On the other hand, Aja played a lot of MLS matches but was not selected in the last part of the tournament. His performance on the field was quite average but was enough to convince Kreis to keep him on the roster and, also, grant him an important role. In relation to his capacities, the Uruguayan is a talented center-back with a huge career ahead, meaning he could be a great help for Orlando City.
Definitely, as most of the teams all over the world do, Orlando City should start with a backline of 4 defenders conformed by:
-Mohamed El-Munir / José Aja / Jonathan Spector / Scott Sutter
Amro Tarek would be a regular in this formation as well, replacing Spector, Aja or Sutter when needed. Regarding the others footballers of the defense, Toia and “PC” will be at hand if El-Munir can’t fulfil the expectations around him, having Toia the upper hand over PC.