2022 Orlando City Player Review: Ruan
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 speedy right back Ruan.
No player for Orlando City received more criticism this season than Brazilian fullback Ruan. The 27-year-old defender drew the ire of many Orlando fans with his inconsistent form and especially his struggles to produce in the final third.
Ruan played a career-high 2,454 minutes in MLS this season and made six appearances in the US Open Cup. Despite his reputation as an offensive fullback, the Brazilian scored just two goals and registered a single assist across all competitions.
Few players squandered as many opportunities in the final third as Ruan. He constantly worked and beat defenders to get into excellent attacking positions, but he failed to deliver the killer ball and create quality scoring opportunities.
He finished with 24 key passes, good for fifth in the squad, below Joao Moutinho who mostly stayed back in possession.
Defensively, Ruan had his moments both good and bad. At times, he can be a bit of a liability, needing his center backs to bail him out against talented offensive players.
Despite the struggles, Ruan still put together plenty of strong performances and still looked the part of a starting MLS fullback most of the season. He's far from perfect or an elite performer, but a quality starter with a unique skillset is what he brings to the table.
Ruan's under contract with Orlando City through next season, and he'll likely be the starter for the Lions once again next year. Eventually, Orlando likely hopes that homegrown fullbacks Michael Halliday and Alex Freeman show they can step into that right back role and bite into Ruan's playing time moving forward.