Orlando City SC News

Grading Orlando City’s 2022 Contract Extensions

Christopher Adams
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 21: Rodrigo Schlegel #15 of Orlando City SC enters the field as a goaltender due to the red card to teammate Pedro Gallese #1 during penalty kicks against the New York City FC of Round One of the MLS Cup Playoffs at Exploria Stadium on November 21, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 21: Rodrigo Schlegel #15 of Orlando City SC enters the field as a goaltender due to the red card to teammate Pedro Gallese #1 during penalty kicks against the New York City FC of Round One of the MLS Cup Playoffs at Exploria Stadium on November 21, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
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ST Alexandre Pato

The Pato experiment is getting a second chance.

The Brazilian forward was one of the more interesting signings league-wide last season, with a unique profile and career before coming to MLS. He’s undeniably skillful and talented, but his history of injuries has plagued a potentially elite player. In his first start against Atlanta United in the season opener, he looked genuinely great, but a knee injury knocked him out for almost the entire year. And even after he came back, he showed that talent with his near-goal on a free kick against Nashville SC at the end of the year.

I am incredibly excited that Pato’s getting another chance with Orlando City. Last year, he showed enough flashes to convince me he can be a difference maker in MLS and given how cheap he is, resigning him was a no-brainer. There’s a chance — a good chance even — that Pato gets hurt again and barely plays. But the small sliver of hope he can play the whole season is enough for him to get another chance.

Grade: A++

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