Orlando City Scouting Report
Real Salt Lake travel to Orlando for the start of the 2016 MLS campaign. It is expected to be a packed crowd as Orlando City anticipate "filling the bowl again." The second year franchise has some dangerous personnel who can make the opposition pay when given the opportunity.
Orlando has a fresh face in goal this year with Joe Bendik. Acquired from Toronto, Bendik has a lot of experience for a goalkeeper his age. At only 26 years he has played for numerous clubs and learned first hand behind former Brazilian national team keeper Julio Cesar. Bendik will be looking to impress early to find a hopeful long term home in Orlando.
Along the Orlando City back four, there will be one player that sticks out the most: Aurelien Collin. RSL's ultimate nemesis has donned purple ever since breaking the hearts of the Real faithful and snatching the cup for Sporting Kansas City. Collin is a force in the back, which is both his strength and his weakness. Always a potential red card or set piece goal waiting to happen. United States national team winger Brek Shea also features on the left side of defense and will be looking to standout to stay in USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann's future plans.
The undoubted focus on marking will be on Brazilian super star Kaka. The last Ballon d'Or winner not named Messi or Ronaldo will float in the free space between the forward and midfielders. His creativity is second to none and will provide plenty of stress for the RSL back line. The usual cool headed Kaka was sent off in last year's fixture after lashing out at Salt Lake's own midfield maestro Javier Morales. It is left to be seen if there will be any left over animosity between the Brazilian and Argentine.
The man leading the line in purple will be last season's rookie of the year Cyle Larin. After scoring 17 goals in 27 games, Larin has proven he has a nose for the net and knows how to find it. The claret and cobalt will like their chances if Larin is absent from the score sheet. Considered the future of the Canadian soccer team, he will be looking to avoid a sophomore slump and be among the top goal scorers in the league.