Just ten days after Luiz Muzzi accepted the job as Orlando City’s Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations, he brought in a player who may be the archetype for the type of roster he hopes to build.
Muzzie described the signing of 21-year-old Ecuadorian midfielder Sebas Méndez.
“Sebas is a very exciting, young player who we’ve been following for a while. He adds a level of versatility, athleticism and overall quality to our team.”
It hasn’t taken Méndez long to live up to the big bosses expectations.
Through seven games of the 2019 season, Méndez leads Orlando City in passing percentage(86.7%) and ranks second in tackles per match (2.7).
The midfielder’s plus ability going forward has proved a pleasant surprise for his head coach.
“He has a good understanding of playing through the thirds,” said James O’Connor. “I think that’s the biggest thing for us is making sure that whoever the midfielders are that they have a good understanding of breaking lines. I think that’s something Sebas does very effectively. He’ll play forward on angles and make it very difficult for the opponents.”
In Orlando’s past two matches, Méndez has completed 99 of 109 passes. As evident in the distribution charts below, Méndez has served as a connection between the backline and the forwards.
“My job is to get the ball out of the back easily to help our forwards get the ball and move up the field,” said Méndez. “To recover a lot and obviously get them the ball as much as I can.”
Méndez will look to continue his string of quality play when Orlando City hosts Vancouver on Saturday.