2022 Orlando City Player Reviews: Rodrigo Schlegel
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 everyone's favorite emergency goalkeeper Rodrigo Schlegel.
Schlegel played a huge role for Orlando City, effectively starting the entire season due to injuries with Antonio Carlos and Robin Jansson and different points in the season. The Argentine center back led all Orlando center halves in minutes played in MLS with 2,168, also playing six games in the US Open Cup.
The cult hero defender was mostly fine, but his occasionally reckless style of play could leave Orlando exposed. Schlegel plays a very actives style of defense, especially for a center back. He was sixth in the squad for combined tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes (3.57), comfortably the highest for center backs.
Even if that aggressive style of defense occasionally left the Lions' vulnerable at the back, it was a solid season for Schlegel. He proved himself as a perfectly capable starting center back in MLS and proved his worth to Orlando City.
Schlegel also saved Orlando's US Open Cup championship run, scoring in stoppage time or regulation against Nashville SC to keep the Lions alive and eventually push on to the semifinals.
The Argentine defender is still under contract through next season on a team-friendly contract for a starting-caliber player. After filling in as a starter for most of the season, Schlegel has proved himself as a premium rotation center back or a solid starting piece if Orlando were to miss one of its star center halves.
And with his penchant for clutch moments and legendary heroics, Schlegel will always be one of the most beloved player in Orlando City's history.