ORLANDO, Fla. – As nicknames go, it is a bit of a head-scratcher.
Even several of his Orlando City SC teammates are baffled by it. But Victor “PC” Giro may have one of the most unusual shirts in MLS this season.
In keeping with his previous two seasons in the NASL with the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, Giro’s jersey will exhibit just those two letters: “PC.”
First of all, no, it doesn’t stand for politically correct, or per capita (or police constable, for British fans).
“PC comes from when I was a kid and I played with Corinthians,” Giro explained via an interpreter. “There was an older player who everyone called PC because his name was Pablo Cesar. Everyone told me I looked like him, and that’s when everyone started to call me PC too. Physically and as a player, we both have straight hair, we’re both left-footed and we both played the same position.
“So now everywhere I go people call me that. I tried to get people to call me Victor, but everybody always calls me PC. I wasn’t able to change it and now everywhere I go, PC goes with me.”
The 22-year-old, who can play at fullback or in midfield, admits it is an unusual nickname, even by Brazilian standards.
“No, they do not call a lot of players that,” he said. “There are some players they call PC because their names are Pablo Cesar, but they do not have a lot of players like that.”
Orlando’s new signing definitely has the chance to put the name on soccer’s map, as the original Pablo Cesar failed to make a mark after leaving Corinthians.
“I was just 11 years old and he was 20,” PC recalled. “He came close to being a professional, but that’s common in Brazil.”
For his Orlando teammate and fellow Portuguese speaker Rafael Ramos, PC was definitely a mystery at first.
“I certainly didn’t understand it when he came here, but after about two or three days, we spoke about it and he explained about the player at Corinthians,” Ramos said. “Now everyone calls him PC. It’s certainly a short name and easy to remember!
“It’s also a bonus to have another Portuguese speaker on the team. He is still young and has a lot to learn, but he has great potential, and he is a great guy.”
Lions midfielder Servando Carrasco considers PC one of the more original nicknames that he has come across in seven years in the league.
“I have no idea where it comes from, but I kind of like it,” Carrasco said. “It is short and pretty clear. I guess the closest thing is like an AJ [DeLaGarza], where it’s his initials, but I haven’t come across anything quite like this before. At Seattle, Ozzie Alonso’s nickname was The Honey Badger, which was pretty cool, but I think PC has got something good going.
“As a player, I think he’s going to surprise a few people. He’s very athletic, he’s got a good left foot, he can get up and down the flank with ease, and he’s a very good one-v-one defender. He’s very comfortable on the ball and you can see why we signed him.”