Orlando City’s match against the Columbus Crew on Sunday will mark the final MLS match that Kaká will suit up in purple. After three years in the City Beautiful, the Lions captain will move on to the next chapter in his life.
For those years spent with Orlando, Kaká brought something to the city that has changed the soccer community forever. Being a former World Player of the Year and an incredibly popular player around the world, he brought a recognition to Orlando City as a club. Just beginning their voyage in MLS in 2015, Kaká brought in fans from all over to watch Orlando City matches both on tv and in person. His outreach across all social media platforms helped cultivate new Lions fans as the team started their journey.
While his worldwide outreach was influential, his impact on the growth of soccer in Orlando was even more essential. Both on and off the pitch, Kaká brought in fans both new and old to the game of soccer and gave the club an identity in the community. This was especially true with fans still learning about the club as it moved up to the major leagues. Fans from the USL days understood how much having a big-name player meant for the club and just what it meant for their beloved Lions as they moved forward into the future.
Kaká’s game-tying goal in Orlando City’s inaugural match remains one of the monumental moments in club history and will be forever enshrined as the first ever scored by Orlando City’s MLS club. Including that goal, the captain has been a part of some of the most exciting moments in club history. His 100th minute penalty last year against Toronto, his solo goal in a friendly against West Bromwich, his penalty kick and celebration with the fans against Columbus or even his most recent goal against New England. All these moments on the field are well remembered by supporters and will be cherished as time moves forward.
Off the field, Kaká was an integral member of the Orlando community. He stood with supporters in The Wall for a match he was unable to play in and supported his team just like any other fan. He also visited Pulse nightclub victims in the hospital after the tragedy occurred. These are just small examples of how Kaká connected with the city of Orlando as a player and as a person.
Orlando’s adopted son will captain his final game on Sunday against the Columbus Crew at 5:00 p.m. Come out and support Orlando City's first MLS signing, in his final MLS game. Kaká play his last match at Orlando City Stadium in the Fuerza Puerto Rico Friendly to raise funds for Puerto Rico.