In both Orlando City and Orlando City B, there is a lot of potential for future careers or returns with the U.S Men’s National Team. Here is a breakdown of the top national team prospects in Orlando:
Jonathan Spector - D - Orlando City
Spector has already made appearances for the senior national team, earning him a total of 36 caps since his debut in 2004. He played for the team during the 2010 World Cup qualifier and was included in the roster that traveled to South Africa, but his last national team appearance was in 2015 against Costa Rica. With his impressive performances for Orlando City, Spector’s name could be floating around the national team conversation again. Orlando City has given up just three goals in their first three matches, and earned a shutout in the season opener. Spector is a versatile player, who can play as a defensive midfielder, a fullback, and a center back.
Joe Bendik - GK - Orlando City
Bendik had an incredible season in 2016. He played every minute in goal and earned 114 saves, the second highest total in MLS. In addition, Bendik is loved by fans and players alike. He won MLS Save of the Week 11 times last year and he won Save of the Year for a stop against Sporting Kansas City in May. With Tim Howard potentially on his way out and an MLS friendly coach in Bruce Arena running the show, there is potential for Bendik to step up and be brought into camp for consideration with the senior national team.
Tommy Redding - D - Orlando City
Redding was a part of the U.S team that brought home the U-20 CONCACAF trophy a few weeks ago. He has had an extensive career in the U.S youth system, and has a good chance of being chosen to compete in the U-20 World Cup in South Korea that starts on May 20th. Redding is just 20-years-old, yet he has already competed in major international competitions and has made numerous appearances for a MLS squad. Redding would be a good candidate to continue through the U.S system to the senior team, especially with the potential of the U-20 World Cup and Redding’s continuously developing versatility.
Conor Donovan - D - Orlando City
Donovan has also made appearances for the U.S youth system at the U-17 and U-20 level. Donovan competed in the U-17 CONCACAF tournament in 2013 and the U-20 CONCACAF tournament in 2015, as well as the U-20 World Cup the same year. At just 21, Donovan has emerged as a leader on Orlando City B, and has appeared for the MLS squad as well. With the success OCB had last year, Donovan could catch the eyes of more than one national team recruiter.
Pierre Da Silva - M - Orlando City
The 18 year old prospect has shown incredible promise at his time with Orlando City SC. In 2016, he was one of Orlando City B’s most dynamic players - tallying two goals and five assists in 18 starts. In 2017, Da Silva was signed to Orlando City’s first team and made his first appearance in the team’s opening match of the season. Prior to joining OCB, he featured for the Orlando City Pro Academy U-17/18 team in 2015 after playing in the U.S. Soccer U-17 Residency Program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Look for Da Silva to draw continued attention from the powers at be at U.S. Soccer as his game continues to develop.
Joe Gallardo - F - Orlando City B
While he is an OCB signee, Gallardo may have some of the best U.S. National Team potential of the bunch. He has player for the U.S. U-15, U-17 and U-19 national teams, notching four goals and three assists in 2014 with the U.S. U-17 squad. The young forward scored three goals in eight matches during a short stint with Orlando City’s Development Academy before joining OCB, and has made an appearance in one of OCB’s three matches this season.
Ryley Kraft - M - Orlando City B
Another OCB signing for 2017, Kraft was called into the U.S. U-19 national team 22-player training camp as recently as February 3rd. At just 18 years of age, Kraft rounds out a young crop of U.S. National Team potential for Orlando City SC.