Speaking with the media ahead of Orlando’s opener at home on Sunday against New York City FC (5 p.m., ESPN), the 34-year-old Brazilian says he doesn’t spend time considering where he'll be once that deal runs out.
“I don’t think about that right now,” Kaká said. “All I am thinking about is the game we have on Sunday. My goal is simply to win games. We haven’t done that enough in the last two seasons and that is not good enough to be a big team in this league.”
That steely resolve to help the Lions finally make the playoffs in their third year in the league comes with a new role in head coach Jason Kreis’s 4-4-2 formation, a shape that harks back to Kreis’ successful tenure at Real Salt Lake.
The veteran talisman will be seen most often on the left flank of a midfield quartet, looking to dovetail with fellow creator Matias Perez Garcia and fashion the chances for front pairing Cyle Larin and Carlos Rivas.
“Yes, I am good playing on the left,” Kaká said. “I have my goals playing there, I have my obligations. With Carlos and Cyle [up front], I can stay and create more plays for the team a little bit further back. I am good with it; I am comfortable and confident.”
The former World Player of the Year and World Cup winner will check another item off his soccer ‘wish list’ when he helps City open the new stadium against NYCFC. Even so, he also warns his teammates not to get carried away with the occasion.
“Of course we talk a lot about this stadium, but it is just because it is new,” he said. “There is a psychological and emotional thing that it’s very important for the players to understand, and it will be awesome on Sunday.
“But we will play New York and it will be done. The stadium is not going to be our motivation for the whole season. Whether we play here or on the road it is the same; we have to win. We obviously want to win in front of our supporters, but the mentality must be the same wherever we play.”