2022 Orlando City Player Reviews: Tesho Akindele
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 veteran striker Tesho Akindele.
Tesho Akindele is Tesho Akindele, nothing more and nothing less. At 30 years old, the former MLS rookie of the year is a hardworking rotation forward and good locker room presence. This season, the Canadian scored three goals in 610 minutes across 27 games.
Akindele was a key piece off the bench for Oscar Pareja, and in the summer became a hero for Orlando City with late game-winning goals against Charlotte FC and New York City FC in back-to-back weeks.
The Canadian brings some verticality off the bench and works incredibly hard defensively, chasing down the opposition in possession and constantly looking to make runs. He's never been an efficient finisher or dynamic creator, but he executed his role at a high level.
Akindele's contract is set to expire in December, but the club holds an option to bring him back for another season. At this point, the former FC Dallas striker is one of the longest tenured players in club history and should stay in Orlando as long as possible.
He's not an expensive bench option and brings a level of experience, MLS knowledge and leadership to a group filled with young players and players new to North America. Aside from those off-field abilities, Akindele is just a decent reserve forward in this league and has shown willingness and ability to play multiple positions.
Orlando City should pick up Akindele's option and look to keep him in the City Beautiful as long as he's a functional MLS player, which should be a little while longer.