Higuita Diamond

Orlando City fans were pleased to see a familiar face in the starting eleven last Sunday. 

Midfielder Cristian Higuita made his first appearance in the starting lineup this season, which was a return to familiar waters for the 23-year-old Colombian. He has been a starter in 42 of the 51 games he has played as Lion. Higuita started in 16 of the 21 games he played in 2016 and was ranked 21st on the MLSsoccer.com 24 Under 24 ranking.

“I’m happy,” Higuita said. “I think I did a good job and helped the team. I hope to keep scoring and working towards helping the team. It is also motivating; I’m always used to being on the starting lineup. People are always supportive and that’s really motivating.”

Higuita was featured in Head Coach Jason Kreis’ diamond formation, which was revealed for the first time in his tenure with Orlando City.

“Trying to move the guys tactically into a different shape and in that effort to try to be a little bit better in possession, try to dictate the tempo of the game a little more,” Kreis said. “My experience is in playing in that way, you tend to put yourself in spaces where you can find the ball a lot more and maintain the rhythm or set the rhythm of the game.”

The diamond formation is more focused on defense and Higuita was a vital part of its success.

“It’s nice to play a different formation,” Higuita said. “It allows us to see what other players can do and it gives us a variety on the field.”

Kreis might just change the formation again this week, but Higuita is certain to play a major role.
“I think it’s also a coach wants to be able to play a couple different ways,” Kreis said. “I’d like to not walk into every match and the opponent know exactly what you’re going to do.”