SANFORD, Fla. – Josue Colman has not had the easiest transition to MLS, though he appears to have turned a corner.
The challenges of adapting to a new country, culture and club impact everyone differently. And while navigating those factors, Orlando City’s young Designated Player has had a couple inconsistent performances and found himself off coach Jason Kreis' 18-man gameday roster early this month after violating team rules.
“It’s just another interesting case where he gets to start a match toward the beginning of the season and doesn’t really perform well and we expressed our disappointed with that performance and he kind of continued in a little bit of a doldrum for him,” Kreis said.
“So, we then expressed things need to get better, felt like things were heading in a positive direction and then he shows up 30 minutes late to a game,” Kreis added. “We had to discipline and let him know he’s out of the 18 and then he’s kicked on further and improved from there.”
The Paraguayan did not feature during Orlando’s 3-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on May 6 because of that violation of team rules, but since he’s appeared in Orlando’s following three games, including a start and 82-minute shift in last weekend's 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire.
Colman has placed the responsibility for his absence on himself.
“When you get disciplined for committing an error, sometimes there’s a lesson to be learned,” Colman said. “When that happens, you have to own up to it and apologize to the coaching staff and teammates and show them on the field that you’re really focused on achieving big things with this club.”
Due to injuries and World Cup call-ups, the 19-year-old will only have more chances to start matches, in which he hopes to showcase himself as an improved player from the one that opened his Orlando tenure.
“In comparison to how I started the season, there was a big change,” Colman said of his recent performances. “I wasn’t playing, but I was training really hard. I was preparing myself for the opportunity and now I have a positive rhythm. I started last game and I hope to stay in the starting team longer.”