2022 Orlando City Player Reviews: Antonio Carlos
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 stalwart Brazilian center back Antonio Carlos.
Antonio Carlos had probably his worst season since coming to Orlando in 2020, but that's not all his fault. The Brazilian defender suffered a bad lower body injury and missed over two months in the middle of the season. That took a massive toll on AC and also Orlando City's defensive rotation.
When he played, he was still a stalwart in the back. Antonio Carlos played 1,625 minutes despite the injury and mostly played well in those minutes. He comfortably led the team in clearances per 90 minutes with 5.19. He also made 2.98 combined tackles and interceptions per 90.
His defensive work continued to thrive, and his possession play remained solid. He was an accurate passer who occasionally was able to break lines with his long balls. Antonio Carlos didn't score any goals, but he was always a target on set pieces and added an assist.
Against CF Montreal in the playoffs, Antonio Carlos had an excellent chance to put the Lions ahead in the first half, but his shot went awry. It was a fantastic chance to make an impact, but it's tough to be too harsh on a center back's finishing.
Antonio Carlos is still under contract through next season and a foundational piece for Orlando City. He wasn't quite as good as he'd been in the past, but at just 29, he should still be an elite level center back in 2023 and potentially beyond.
His partnership with Robin Jansson is sneakily one of the best in MLS and will always keep Orlando City among the better teams in the Eastern Conference.