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Can Kaka Fire Orlando City To MLS glory In 2017?
Kaka has been there and done it all during his playing career but the Brazil legend will be quietly confident of securing more silverware before hanging up his boots in the near future. Orlando City, one of Major League Soccer’s newer franchises, finished eighth in the Eastern Conference last season and fans will be expecting Jason Kreis’ men to improve ahead of what could be a defining year for the club.
Orlando have plenty of potential and Kaka, one of their designated players, is still able to influence matches on a weekly basis. With that in mind, Kreis may continue to build his side around the Brazilian – especially as he has formed a solid relationship with the vast majority of his team-mates.
The 34-year-old has recorded 18 goals and 15 assists in 52 appearances since moving to the United States and he has one or two more big years left in the tank...
Scoring goals wasn’t a problem for Orlando City in 2016 as they hit the back of the net 55 times in 34 games – the third highest total in the MLS. With Kaka's creativity, they truly were a joy to watch last season. Unfortunately, Orlando were far from assured in defence; conceding 60 goals – the highest number in the division. If Kaka and co are going to challenge for a postseason spot, Kreis’ side must focus on improving defensively or else risk falling behind in the race for the MLS Cup.
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) January 15, 2017
Kreis' side are looking sharp ahead of the new campaign and Brazilian fans have hinted at a potential call-up for Kaka to the international squad if he finds his best form at the start of the season. Brazil, currently priced at 6/1 to win the 2018 World Cup in Paddy Power’s football betting markets, are well on the way to securing qualification for next summer’s event and Kaka may be given one final opportunity to add to his tally of 92 international appearances.
But for now, he will focus on guiding Orlando City to the playoffs – a viable target if they tighten up at the back. Veteran midfielder and two-time MLS Cup winner Will Johnson will bring some much needed assurance and reliability to the squad whilst Donny Toia and Victor Giro are both capable of slotting comfortably into Kreis’ side in the full-back areas.
At the very least, these two players can hold their own with the elite players in Major League Soccer. With such talented stars around him, Kaka can do what he does best – orchestrate Orlando City through matches. The Brazilian built a reputation during his prime for controlling and dominating fixtures from start to finish and he has shown on more than one occasion that he is still able to do that in the MLS. Kaka will go down in history as one of Brazil’s greatest footballers in the modern era and he can write his name into Orlando City folklore by leading the franchise to silverware in America’s top division.