22_MLSAdidasKits_ORL_16x9-static

Armchair Analyst's Breakdown

  • Strength: One of the most underrated center back pairings in the league, with a very solid d-mid pairing in front of them.
  • Weakness: The attack mostly didn’t work last year. There are some new faces in town, but it’s all TBD until they do it on grass.

Key Departures

  • Nani: With a completely new attack, there were some major departures. Star winger Nani returned to Europe, joining MLS homegrown exports Gianluca Busio and Tanner Tessmann at Venezia FC in Italy’s Serie A. The former Manchester United, Lazio and Sporting CP star had 28 goals and 23 assists in 77 appearances with Orlando, leading them to their first-ever postseason berths.
  • Daryl Dike: After seemingly a year of speculation, Daryl Dike made a permanent move to Europe, signing with English Championship side West Bromwich Albion for an Orlando club-record $9.5 million deal. The US international was selected with the No. 5 pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. He had 19 goals and seven assists with Orlando, helping earn back-to-back playoff appearances as he developed under manager Oscar Pareja.
  • Chris Mueller: Another attacker gone, winger Chris Mueller signed with Hibernian FC in Scotland after his contract expired with Orlando. Mueller, also a SuperDraft pick, had 21 goals and 24 assists in 112 appearances (74 starts) with OCSC.

Key Acquisitions

  • Facundo Torres: Facundo Torres was among the most exciting young talents in South America – top three, as general manager Luiz Muzzi told MLSsoccer.com – and represents a big splash by Orlando’s new ownership group. The deal was complicated but ended with Torres signing for a reported fee in the range of $7.5 million. Now, the 21-year-old Uruguay international becomes the centerpiece of Orlando’s new-look attack upon arriving from Penarol.
  • Ercan Kara: Another DP, Orlando signed center forward Ercan Kara from Rapid Vienna after Daryl Dike departed. Kara, whose contract was expiring this summer, was a shrewd acquisition after he had 37 goals and 19 assists in 84 appearances across Austria’s top flight, UEFA Champions League and Europa League matches. He’s a more traditional center forward.
  • Cesar Araujo: Torres wasn’t the only Uruguayan signed by Orlando this offseason, with Cesar Araujo arriving from Montevideo Wanderers. The central midfielder was named club MVP in his final season with Montevideo and already has 63 appearances at the age of 20. He has experience in South America’s top tournaments, the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana. He’s a U22 Initiative signing for Orlando.
  • Full roster

Projected Starting XI

Orlando City SC - projected XI 2022

Predictions

  • Charles Boehm: 4th in the East
  • Tom Bogert: 5th in the East
  • Matt Doyle: 6th in the East
  • David Gass: 7th in the East
  • Sam Jones: 5th in the East
  • Joe Lowery: 6th in the East
  • Greg Seltzer: 6th in the East
  • Andrew Wiebe: 5th in the East