Luca Petrasso could be an x-factor at left back

Jul 9, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto FC midfielder Luca Petrasso (38) controls the ball
Jul 9, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto FC midfielder Luca Petrasso (38) controls the ball / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Losing Joao Moutinho is one of the least talked about changes to Orlando City this offseason. The Portuguese defender was among the best left backs in Major League Soccer since arriving in Orlando ahead of the 2019 season.

The Lions brought in a pair of left backs to replace Moutinho this offseason. Rafael Santos arrived with relatively large fanfare. The Brazilian left back was signed from Cruzeiro in the Brazilian second division and has plenty of experience in the top two tiers of Brazil.

Former Toronto FC Homegrown Luca Petrasso was the first signing of Orlando's offseason, and fell behind the radar amidst the swell of other big additions. While he didn't receive the same fanfare as Santos or the attacking signings, Petrasso could be a major contributor for the Lions this season.

Petrasso started his professional career as a winger before finding a home at left back. That attacking heritage is clear when watching the Canadian play. He has strong technical ability and is one of the better young crossers in MLS.

Orlando has a plethora of talented center forwards who need service to thrive. Designated Player Ercan Kara is a big bodied striker who can be a weapon in the air. Petrasso is a arguably a better crosser than anybody on the roster last season and could serve up dozens quality chances for Kara and the other forwards this season.

Petrasso finished last season with four assists in just under 1,700 minutes of MLS action last season with a dysfunctional Toronto FC team. He also has a further six assists in USL League One and two in the Canadian Championship (the Voyageurs Cup to those unaware).

These aren't record-shattering stats, but promising numbers for a player just starting his professional career. At just 22 years old, Petrasso still has plenty of room to develop into an elite MLS player and potentially a candidate for a sale to Europe. He'll have to earn a starting spot over Santos, but Petrasso could be an x-factor for Orlando City this season.