The 2017 was full of changes. A total of 11 players joined the Lions throughout the year, each bringing value to the team in their own unique way. With the season done and dusted, we take a look back at just how Orlando’s acquisitions did in the Lions third MLS season.
Donny Toia: 30 Games Played, 2545 Minutes Played, 3 Assists
Toia came to the Lions after an Expansion Draft trade with Atlanta after he was selected first overall from Montreal. The left-back logged the third most minutes on the team throughout the season and the second most of any field player. The defender was a part of six of the seven shutouts this season and played an integral part in both on defense and offense.
Victor "PC" Giro: 8 Games Played, 436 Minutes Played, 1 Assist
PC came to Orlando after spending his previous season in NASL with the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers and Tampa Bay Rowdies. After spending the early parts of the season with Orlando City B in USL, the Brazilian played his first game in San Jose back in May and got his only assist of the season in a 1-1 draw.
Pierre Da Silva: 1 Game Played, 1 Minute Played (26 GP, 2,180 Min, 3 Goals, 7 Assists with OCB)
Da Silva became the first player to climb from the academy to OCB, to the first team in the offseason, and made his debut in a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union. Through most of the season, the midfielder spent time with OCB, where he was one of the top 15 in assists in the league and one of the most integral parts of the team’s attack throughout the season.
Jonathan Spector: 25 Games Played, 2176 Minutes Played, 1 Goal, 1 Assist
Spector came to the Lions with years of experience in the English Premier League and English Championship, as well as on the international level with the U.S. Men’s National Team. One of the anchors of the back-line, Spector made an immediate impact for the team’s defense, making huge defensive stops throughout the year. His veteran presence helped the progression of some of the younger defenders that played next to him throughout the year as they grew throughout the season.
Josh Saunders: 0 MLS Games Played (1 U.S. Open Cup Game played, 1 OCB game played)
Saunders joined the Lions after two seasons with NYCFC as the starter. The keeper did not see any minutes for the MLS team except for one U.S. Open Cup match. He also played one USL game with OCB in a 1-1 draw. His season was cut short due to a neck injury.
Giles Barnes: 34 Games Played, 2137 Minutes Played, 3 Goals, 2 Assists
In a trade just before the season, Barnes came to Orlando from Vancouver as a veteran attacking peiece. The forward has the distinction of being the only player for Orlando to have played in every single game this season across all competitions. He played just about everywhere in the midfield and in the attack and was one of the most versatile players for Head Coach Jason Kreis.
Scott Sutter: 32 Games Played, 2729 Minutes Played, 1 Goal, 4 Assists
Joining the Lions just prior to the 2017 season from Switzerland, Sutter brought more experience the defense, with his 13 years of professional play joining the team. The right-back played more minutes than any other field players on the season and was one of the most consistent overall players for the Lions throughout the season. His game tying goal in stoppage time against Seattle was his only goal of the season, but it was an incredibly dramatic one.
Léo Pereira: 10 Games Played, 805 Minutes Played
After originally being loaned to Orlando City B at the beginning of the season from partner club Atlético Paranaense, Pereira joined the MLS side in April. The Brazilian played in 10 matches for the Lions and was important depth in the defense throughout the season.
Dom Dwyer: 12 Games Played, 975 Minutes Played, 4 Goals, 4 Assists
The fan favorite from 2013 re-joined the team, this time in MLS midway through the season in one of the biggest trades in MLS history. Fresh off his U.S. Men’s National Team call-up, Dwyer was only able to pay in 12 matches, but still managed a solid four goals and assist. His four assists marks a career high for the striker as well. His breakout performance in purple came on the road in Atlanta, where he notched two goals and an assist in a 3-3 thriller.
Yoshimar Yotún: 10 Games Played, 887 Minutes Played, 1 Goal, 4 Assists
Only the fifth designated player in Orlando City history, Yotún played and started only 10 matches after joining the team in early August. In those matches, the Peruvian showed off his incredible passing ability and ball control in the midfield, becoming one of the linchpins for the offense. His best performance came in the 6-1 win over New England, where he scored a goal and notched two assists.
Dillon Powers: 6 Games Played, 345 Minutes Played
Joining the Lions in mid August via a trade, Powers only appeared in a half dozen games, but provided much needed midfield depth and experience as the season wound down.