For the next week, I'll be recapping each Orlando City player's season for all player who played at least 100 MLS minutes per FBRef in 2022, starting from the least used player to the most used.
Up next is Orlando's club captain: veteran midfielder Mauricio Pereyra.
Pereyra assumed the role of captain this offseason after Nani departed the club, and had an excellent season leading the Lions. He led the team to its first trophy of the MLS era and put in a quality individual season as well.
The veteran Uruguayan playmaker assumed multiple roles in the midfield over the course of the year, playing as a traditional No. 10 attacking midfielder, but also dropping deeper to play as more of a deep-lying playmaker to help Orlando build up in possession.
In both roles, Pereyra made his presence felt and was one of Orlando's best players with the ball. He scored a rare goal from a direct free kick and added another striker in the US Open Cup run. Pereyra also continued to rack up assists, dishing out nine in all competitions.
Pereyra, despite being 32-years-old and dealing with nagging injuries, played 2,531 minutes for the Lions, near the top for the club. He constantly looked to get on the ball and build in possession, but he also worked incredibly hard on the defensive end.
While not exactly a defensive stalwart, Pereyra put in an honest effort, especially when deployed deeper in midfield, and at times did an excellent job of forcing turnovers and keying transition opportunities.
Few players in Orlando City's team have as uncertain a future as Mauricio Pereyra. The Designated Player's contract expires at the end of the season and with Orlando looking to build into a new era, the veteran midfielder could be on the way out.
If this is the end of Pereyra in purple, then he'll go down as an all-timer for the club, and should always be remembered as the first captain to bring a major trophy to the City Beautiful.