On Wednesday night, Orlando City Midfielder Carlos Rivas earned his first start during the Jason Kreis era. With Cyle Larin out due to international duty, Orlando City needed Rivas to step up and deliver big. In Montreal, he did just that.
“I did know that he had it in him,” Head Coach Jason Kreis said after the match. “I’m really pleased for him. He’s worked extremely hard over the past several weeks to prepare himself for this game.”
Rivas had two assists and a goal in Orlando City’s 4-1 victory over the Impact. Kreis said that Rivas had prepared specifically for this match; they knew that Larin would be unavailable, and gave Rivas this match as a focal point in training. “I think he’s focused himself, he’s worked hard,” Kreis said. “And tonight, he and we reaped the benefits from that work.”
Throughout the season, Rivas has appeared in just 15 games, with five starts and 503 minutes played. While he hasn’t had a lot of playing time, he always makes an impact, with two goals and four assists on the year. Rivas’ teammates gave him high praise after what is being deemed by many as his breakout match.
“His performance tonight was amazing,” Kaká said. “He’s ready to play. He hasn’t played for awhile, and now, he just came in and did it in a game like this.”
“It was a really important game for me,” Rivas said. “I knew that coming in. I think I just prepared the same way that I always do since I’ve played for the first team and that’s just to concentrate and be ready.”
Orlando City’s success without both Cyle Larin and Kevin Molino is a good sign for the future. The team will need that kind of depth if they are going to improve their Eastern Conference position and do well in the playoffs.
“I think the key is just to give 100% at training,” Rivas said. “Be as ready and as prepared as you can be when you do get that call up.