Predicting the starting XI for Orlando City

Jul 27, 2022; Orlando, Florida, US;   Orlando City midfielder Cesar Araujo (5) reacts after scoring
Jul 27, 2022; Orlando, Florida, US; Orlando City midfielder Cesar Araujo (5) reacts after scoring / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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Orlando will player out of some kind of 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 permutation throughout the season. There will obviously be tweaks in game, but that's the default shape under Oscar Pareja.


GK : Pedro Gallese

Not much debate for the No. 1 shirt in Orlando. The Peruvian international brings experience and pedigree between the pipes for the Lions.

LB: Luca Petrasso

The front office built a pair of new left backs, and it looks like former Toronto FC homegrown Petrasso will be the primary starter. The 22-year-old is a converted winger who brings plenty of attacking upside to the left back spot.

CB: Robin Jansson

Jansson is the anchor of Orlando's backline. He's a premier line-breaking passer and a rugged defender. He's also the club's all-time appearance leader and a strong leader.

CB: Antonio Carlos

AC rounds out one of the best center back partnerships in the league. The Brazilian is a standout defender who always brings bundles of energy and passion. He just needs to stay healthy for most of a full season.

RB: Michael Halliday

It's finally time for the Homegrown Halliday to earn a real role on this team. The 19-year-old defender started in preseason, and looks to be the go-to guy at right back. He's brimming with potential and could be primed for a breakout.


CDM: César Araújo

Araújo is one of the best defensive midfielders and young players in the league. The Uruguayan brings toughness and tenacity to the midfield. He'll be an everyday starter until the day he's sold for millions of dollars to Europe.

CM: Mauricio Pereyra

The captain is back, and it looks like he'll be dropping deeper into midfield to play as more of a deep-lying playmaker. Pereyra is a locked in starter in whatever role he has to fill.

CM: Dagur Dan Thórhallsson

This is a bit of an odd shout. The public still hasn't seen the Icelandic midfielder, but he profiles as the exact box-to-box presence Orlando needs. Pareja could shift one of his wingers into a No. 10 role in midfield, but in a more defensively sound trio, Thórhallsson is the way to go.


LW: Martín Ojeda

Ojeda is a superstar in the making. He was one of the best attacking players in Argentina for two seasons and looked spectacular in preseason. Ojeda will start almost every game in one of the attacking spots.

ST: Ercan Kara

There's been a lot of talk about Duncan McGuire in preseason, but Kara is still the man up top for now. The Designated Player still scored double-digit goals last season on a team starved for creativity. He's up first up top.

RW: Facundo Torres

Torres is the star of the show. "El Cuervo," is primed for a massive season that could see him earn an eight-figure transfer to a top five league in Europe. He's that type of talent.