Good morning Orlando City family! If you haven’t noticed, I’ve taken over here at O-Town’s 11 and will be contributing regular content and coverage of Orlando soccer. As a part of that coverage, I’m introducing a new series of daily posts, our fan thought of the day. If there are any ideas or thoughts you want included in this series, hit us up on Twitter or comment below.
For today’s thought, I have a question for you all: what do you want to see from Orlando City’s recruitment strategy? Obviously, we all want to see the Wilf’s open up the pocketbook and splash their caboodles of cash, but how would you like to see that money spent?
I’m not looking for specific names (although you should also suggest names, let’s get weird), but more a general recruitment plan. What player profile should the Lions be hunting?
Generally, there’s two types of MLS signing: older, maybe even past-it former star, or an intriguing prospect. If we lived in that binary, I’m taking the latter every day of the week. But increasingly, we’ve seen MLS teams go after and sign elite (by MLS standards) players who are in their prime. The likes of Carles Gil, Alejandro Pozuelo and Raul Ruidiaz have all come into MLS over the last few seasons at a great age and become MVP-caliber players. Can Orlando City go after that type of player? And if that’s what Luiz Muzzi and his staff chase, where will that player be?
Based off current rumors, that’s not the avenue Orlando is taking, at least not right now. It’s not really an avenue Orlando City has ever taken. Both Kaka and Nani were in their twilight years when they came over and most every other DP signing has been a prospect. The closest to an in their prime star we’ve gotten is Mauricio Pereyra, but even he’s on the wrong side of 30 and showing it.
The most successful MLS teams of the last decade have all had in-their-prime game breakers. Giovinco. Lodeiro. Gil. Vela. The list goes on. Can Orlando City find that guy? Do they even need to?
While I personally think having a player like that is key to success, did New York City FC have anybody who matches that profile? What about Atlanta when they were dominate under Tata Martino? Those two clubs did find elite stars in Taty Castellanos, Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez, but they also heavily relied on youth. None of those players were sure things, and Taty took years to develop into a Best XI forward. Could this be the path Orlando City should head down?
I don’t know the ideal transfer strategy this offseason, and it probably lies somewhere in the middle, but what do you think Orlando City should do this offseason and what type of players should Luiz Muzzi and Oscar Pareja be targeting?