Ercan Kara is a Perfect Fit for Orlando City

Apr 16, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA;  Orlando City forward Ercan Kara (9) celebrates with teammate
Apr 16, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Orlando City forward Ercan Kara (9) celebrates with teammate / Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Replacing a player of Daryl Dike's caliber was always going to be difficult, but early returns on new Designated Player Ercan Kara are extremely promising.

The Austrian has two goals and two assists in nine matches this season, with 0.7 goals and assists per 90 minutes, a decent return, but that's not what's made Kara special in the early going.

Ercan Kara is the perfect piece for the way Orlando City wants to play. He's technically sound and incredibly capable with the ball. Under Oscar Pareja, Orlando wants to play with the ball and use quick possession play to create. The Lions sometimes have to resort to conservative pragmatism, but ideally they attack progressively.

Ercan Kara's ability to play with the ball opens up so much in the final third for Orlando City. When in buildup, Kara's soft feet provide a perfect outlet to start combinations on the break. In and around the box, Kara can combine excellently with the other crafty attackers like Alexandre Pato and Facundo Torres.

All that's left for Kara is to score more goals, and it looks like that will start to come. Kara is already slightly underperforming his expected goals, with 2.5 xG on his two goals. The former Vienna striker gets into a lot of high-value areas, but hasn't been able to capitalize consistently yet.

To improve that goalscoring form, he also needs more of those chances. Kara is currently averaging a career-low in shots per 90 minutes with just over two. For comparison, Seattle's talisman Raul Ruidiaz is averaging around 3.5 shots per 90. For Kara to be the elite-level striker in MLS that he has the talent to be, he needs to get off more shots and Orlando's attack needs to create more opportunities for their big man in the middle.