2022 Orlando City Player Reviews: Kyle Smith

Aug 31, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA;  Orlando City defender Kyle Smith (24) reacts after scoring a
Aug 31, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Orlando City defender Kyle Smith (24) reacts after scoring a / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

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 and always reliable fullback Kyle Smith.

Much of the praise put on Tesho Akindele goes for Kyle Smith. The 30-year-old fullback is a valuable and reliable depth defender who puts in the work at any position he's asked to play. In 2022, Smith played 35 games across MLS and the US Open Cup, playing 1,388 minutes in the league.

He filled in at right back, left back and would occasionally fill in as an emergency center back. Smith is gritty and tough defensively. The former Division III college soccer star led all Orlando defenders in combined tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes with 3.64.

Smith will never be confused with an attacker, but he was a mostly functional offensive piece. He scored a pair of goals, including a massive game winner against the Seattle Sounders. Smith also led the team in completed crosses per 90 minutes with 0.71.

Most of his creative metrics were respectable for a utility defender, with 0.78 key passes per 90, 2.73 progressive passer per 90 and 1.62 shot-creating actions per 90.

Smith remains under contract through next season and will continue to fill his role as the first name off the bench defensively. Depending on Joao Moutinho's future, Smith may have to play more starting minutes next season if Orlando can't sign a quality left back before the season.

The former Louisville City player is as reliable, if unspectacular, players Orlando has had in its MLS history. As long as he's been in Purple, he's been a hard worker and reliable presence on the field. There's no reason to expect that to change anytime soon.