2018 will mark a new era in Orlando. With the departure of club captain Kaká, and squad reshuffling imminent, expect to see a new-look Orlando City side as the team begins preparing for next season.
After the Lions’ final MLS match of the season on Sunday, Head Coach Jason Kreis addressed his mindset going into the offseason.
“Tonight was the last bit of evaluation from our point of view as to what we need to do, what areas of the field we need to address and particular players we think we need to keep and the ones that we think need to go,” Kreis said. “So now, we enter into the very difficult and trying time of the offseason where we’ve got to deliver a lot of difficult messages, and then we have a lot of work to do to find new players.”
This offseason will provide the Orlando City coaching staff and General Manager Niki Budalic with an opportunity to improve the team as a whole. Jason Kreis and the players had set a clear goal of making the playoffs this past season, so it goes without saying that changes will occur, and the first step is to look inward.
“At this moment it feels like we need to move forward,” Kreis said. “We need to be able to put this behind us now and learn the lessons, evaluate and be a little bit retrospective, introspective of everything that happened in the season to see where we can improve. From a coaching staff point of view first, but also the players.”
Plenty of players have performed at a high level for this club in 2017: Joe Bendik had a banner year in goal, Jonathan Spector and Scott Sutter bolstered the Lions defense considerably from last year and mid-season additions have come in and made a difference. It may not have been enough to make the playoffs, but Orlando City fans should look ahead with a glass-half-full mindset, knowing their club will rebound in 2018.