Orlando City winger Facundo Torres capable of an MVP season
Orlando City winger Facundo Torres set the club record for goal contributions in a single season in his debut campaign with the Lions. In his second Major League Soccer season, the Uruguayan winger could be something even more.
Torres showed moments in his first MLS season of genuine superstar potential. In the middle of the summer and the peak of the team's run to the US Open Cup final, Torres elevated into an unstoppable force on offense. He had a run in August with four-straight FotMob man of the match performances and routinely put in some of the best performances in the country.
Torres is 22 years old and just scratching the surface of what he can be. He profiles as one of the most intriguing players in MLS for this upcoming season. His ability to attack on the dribble and create in the final third will make him one of the must-see players in the league next year.
The question for Torres is whether he can elevate from exciting player to MVP player.
His FBRef profile doesn't exactly line up with the expectations we see from him on the field. Torres's expected goals and expected assist numbers are average for MLS. His shot and shot-creating actions are also average or even below average for creative players in the league.
The data and the eye test are somewhat incongruent when it comes to a player like Torres. In big games, the Uruguayan has looked like a $20 million superstar in the making, but his statistical profile is nowhere close to the MVP level he looks like he can reach.
However --- much like the analysis of Ercan Kara's underlying numbers --- the system around Torres likely plays a big role in those statistics. Orlando was one of the worst creative teams in MLS last season, and the system failed to routinely create quality chances.
Orlando lacked clear offensive ideas, especially in the final third. Rarely did talented players like Torres have a system to dominate within, instead relying on moments of individual excellence to score goals.
There's no guarantee that the team this season will be better in that regard, but the team's offseason additions and potential system tweaks that can come with it Torres could reach even higher levels than last season.
Facundo Torres is already the most promising player to come through Orlando City in the club's MLS history. If he can build upon an excellent debut season and find another gear, he could become a genuine MVP-level player and earn a massive transfer to an elite European club.
Follow Christopher Adams on Twitter@Topher_Adams