Martín Ojeda: A winger and a No. 10
Orlando City fans and the general public at large got their first eyes on new Designated Player Martín Ojeda in the club's preseason game against the New England Revolution. The Argentine dynamo did not disappoint in the Lions' final dress rehearsal before the Major League Season kicks off on Saturday.
Ojeda looked electric with the ball at his feet. He pinged passes across the field to open up attacking opportunites. He looked dangerous dribbling and combining with others to rip through the defense. And Ojeda also showed he can strike a marvelous shot with his left foot.
Beyond his technical flair and salivating potential, Ojeda showed a tactical flexibility that could fundamentally alter how Orlando City wants to play this season.
The Argentine playmaker nominally lined up as an attacking midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 shape. Putting Ojeda in attacking midfield allowed Mauricio Pereyra to drop deeper to help in build up and added winger Iván Angulo to bring in another attacking presence.
That lineup puts an insane amount of offensive firepower on the field. It's also a very free flowing. Both Ojeda and Torres floated around the field, almost both playing as No. 10's or as wingers depending on how the play was building up.
Ojeda's skillset to play out wide or centrally --- combined with Torres's ability to do the same --- gives a level of unpredictability to the Lions attack.
The ability of either of those players to fill in as an attacking midfielder is a vital development for Orlando City. Since 2019, the Lions have needed Pererya in that position to have a functional attack. Now, Orlando not only has players who can fill in those minutes, it has two players who can do even more.
Ojeda playing centrally also opens opportunities for Angulo and Gastón González on the wing. Both of those players have plenty of upside and are the type of dynamic, athletic wingers that compliment creators like Ojeda and Torres.
It'll take time for all of these pieces to find the right rhythm in the final third, but the tactical flexibility provided by the top end talent opens countless doors for head coach Oscar Pareja.