The 2014 USL Pro playoffs kicked off on Saturday night, and, given the way the regular season went, one would have been excused for being confident that Orlando City SC was well on its way to going out of the league with a bang, i.e., a third USL Pro Championship. The Harrisburg City Islanders had other ideas, though, prematurely ending OCSC’s playoff run with a 0-1 victory at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex, dashing the hopes of central Floridians everywhere.
While the result is a bummer for OCSC fans, it means now that the club can begin its transition period in earnest. Orlando, which has already been ramping up operations in advance of its first MLS season next year, will be building up its roster and staff to compete in the big league, while figuring out what remnants of its squad that won’t make the MLS roster can be transferred to Louisville City FC, and which players won’t. Let’s have a look at the 2014 roster and make some wildly uneducated guesses, shall we?
|2014 Statistics||** Orlando City SC – USL PRO 2014 **|
Let me first add the caveat that I have no idea whether or not this is a current roster. Second, let’s see if we can guess which players OCSC’s gonna keep for MLS in 2015. Almost amazingly, USL Pro does a decent job of charting player statistics. Not surprisingly, they’re exceedingly basic (games played, minutes played, goals, assists, fouls, and the ever-redundant and useless “points” statistic), and are not sortable. That being said, minutes played is probably a fairly good indicator of whether the club rates a player.
There are five players from the 2014 season with over 2000 minutes played: Luke Boden, Miguel Gallardo, Adama Mbengue, Kevin Molino, and Darwin Ceren. Ceren actually was 3 minutes shy of 2000, but I’m counting him anyway. Brad Rusin was also pretty close with 1889 minutes, and I think he was either a mid-season acquisition or was injured for part of the year. Yordany Alvarez came over from Real Salt Lake and picked up an injury mid-season, too, but not before playing about 1000 minutes and picking up, oh, 17 fouls in the process. So let’s knock them out of the running for LCFC 2015.
That still leaves us with a pretty good list. Of the players on that list that I’d be excited to have in Louisville, Anthony Pulis, Brian Span, Dennis Chin, Corey Hertzog, and Estrela top my list. Pulis, because I’m pretty sure his dad is legendary English manager Tony Pulis, and that would be cool. Chin, Span and Hertzog because I think they’re experienced and good enough to play at a higher level, but are probably a little too old for a club to make that reach. Estrela because his name is Estrela. He’s not on that list up there but he’s on OCSC’s site, he’s from Angola (which has a MACHETE on its flag), and his name is Estrela. That’s really all I need to know about a guy to like him.
Check out that roster. Anything that pops out and makes you want to bring these guys from central Florida up to Kentucky, post it in the comments.