SANFORD, Fla. – Josue Colman doesn’t think much about last season’s unmet expectations anymore.
“I’m not as nervous as I was going into last year’s training camp,” Colman told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. “We didn’t achieve our expectations, things didn’t go as planned, so we had to change our mentality during the offseason and move our focus to this season, which is more important now.”
Colman spent most of the offseason back home in Paraguay while also waiting on his green card, which will open up an international roster spot for Orlando.
He spent his offseason training and continuing to learn English; he says he’s beginning to understand some phrases. A surprise visit to Paraguay from head coach James O’Connor in December intrigued Colman, who never expected a visit from the Lions boss.
“James visited me during the offseason, but it was only for a day,” said Colman. “I’m thankful because he came, because it shows his interest in me, because it motivates you. I didn’t think he would do such a thing when your coach comes to your home country. It was a really nice gesture.”
Colman played in 24 league games (10 starts) for Orlando last year, but never really solidified a place in the starting lineup, especially after O’Connor took control of the team following Jason Kreis’ departure last summer. He finished the season with one goal and five assists over 1,054 minutes.
O’Connor doesn’t want Colman thinking about the pressure of being a Designated Player, but rather focusing on his own game instead.
“I think the expectations for all the players are to give their very, very best,” said O’Connor. “I think, when you’re a DP, the media and the supporters maybe try to create different expectations and try to create something that becomes difficult. I think for Josue, we want him to focus on being the very best version of himself. That’s the same for all of the players. We want maximum effort and hopefully their talent and their quality can take over.”