Orlando City striker Ramiro Enrique came on as a second-half substitute, and the Argentine forward flashed real skill. The U22 signing toasted New York Red Bull defenders off the dribble and nearly ripped off an incredible solo goal before his shot drifted wide of the near post.
This little flash of magic and a 30-minute appearance filled with hard running and technical flair has filled the Orlando faithful with hype and hope for the young attacking talent.
Enrique's debut confirmed everything he displayed on film in Argentina. He's a live-wire forward who's always running hard off the ball. But he parlays that high effort with real technical panache to his game.
The Argentine striker is arguably the cleanest dribbler on the team already. His quick feet allow him to take defenders off the dribble better than just about anybody on Orlando's roster. And that's no knock on the other players! I'm just that high on Enrique's on ball ability.
Even with all of these great abilities, I think Enrique profiles as an elite supersub more than a regular starter.
With all of this running and skill, the young forward has yet to really pop as a creator or finisher in the final third in his career. For all the criticism levied on Ercan Kara, the Austrian is a serial double-digit goal scorer throughout his career including last season in Orlando.
Kara should undoubtedly be the starter and get the bulk of the minutes.
But Enrique is the perfect change of pace off the bench. His dynamism and aggression will devastate tired legs in the second half. Getting a quick dribbler off the bench to drive at tired defenders is a special weapon that only the best teams have at their disposal.
Maybe over the course of his Orlando City career Enrique will become a lot more than just a change of pace supersup and blossom into a real MLS star. The talent is definiley there. But right now, he's ready to be a special weapon off the bench.