5. OCSC and OCB synergy
The formation of Orlando City B, Orlando City SC’s USL side, will provide fantastic opportunities for both teams. With OCB set to begin play this spring, the team will give opportunities for some of the younger players such as Harrison Heath and Tommy Redding to get regular playing time as they work towards seeing first team minutes for the MLS side.
4. Continued Confidence
The Lions ended their inaugural season winning 5 of their last 6 matches. Orlando City showed that when healthy, and with all players available that they can be one of the dominate forces in MLS. It is very exciting knowing that with a full season under their belt, OCSC will return to the pitch in 2016 looking to continue their strong play.
3. Kaká’s Second Season in MLS
Kaká had an impressive debut season for the Lions. The Brazilian legend had flashes of brilliance throughout the season, and was a fundamental part of the Lions inaugural campaign. With a better understanding of the league and the team around him, look for 2016 to be an even bigger year for Kaká.
2. New Faces
Now that the first season is completed, Coach Adrian Heath and GM Paul McDonough will have a better idea of what spots on the roster need more depth, and will be bringing in new players to help fill those roles. With no expansion draft until 2017, the Lions can solely focus on improving their roster and not have to worry about losing any players via that medium. OCSC will also have the ability to bring in young and upcoming college players through the 2016 MLS Superdraft. The Lions acquired great talent like Cyle Larin, Earl Edwards Jr. and Connor Donovan through the Superdraft last season.
1. Return of Kevin Molino
In early May, Kevin Molino tore his ACL is a friendly match against Ponte Preta. The injury sidelined Molino for the remainder of the 2015 season. If the Trinidadian midfielder can stay on pace with his recovery he should be able to start the 2016 season, which would be a giant lift for the Lions. Molino’s technical ability combined with his creativity on the pitch makes him a gem for the Lions.