RSL Soapbox) Can Orlando win without Kaka? How important is he to the club?
Mane Land) Kaká is very important to the club, but this team is capable of winning games without him. There is a very good base of talent on the squad, but right now that is being stretched by injuries and international call-ups. Brek Shea, Aurelien Collin and Kevin Molino are all all-star caliber players and all are out with injuries. Rookie of the Year favorite Cyle Larin has already reported to the Canadian Gold Cup team. That said, there are still a lot of talented pieces on this team. It might not be a playoff-caliber team without Kaká, but it's certainly capable of winning games
RSL Soapbox) It seems like Orlando has really embraced Orlando City SC. How much has the fan base grown since they entered MLS?
Mane Land) It has grown by leaps and bounds. The marketing team has done a phenomenal job of getting the word out and the already-rabid fanbase from the USL days has helped the city embrace soccer. It helps having the former world player of the year as your first Designated Player. This is a city of mixed nationalities and most everyone from outside the U.S. knows who Kaká is. There is definitely a passion for the club here and you can't drive down I-4 without seeing magnets or stickers on several cars
RSL Soapbox) How familiar were Orlando City fans with MLS and its best players before they came into the league and who were fans generally aware of on Real Salt Lake?
Mane Land) I think this is a pretty sophisticated soccer town and certainly the fans know of Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman. Our fans are aware of RSL's history of success and that they've won MLS Cup in the not-too-distant past. Could they name the entire starting XI? Not most of them, but I think they're tangentially aware that Rio Tinto is a tough place to play and that Orlando is probably lucky that Rimando and Beckerman are away on international duty this weekend.
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