Colman Smiles

Josué Colmán All Smiles on Day 1

Josué Colmán was quiet as he walked up the steps and into Orlando City Stadium for the first time today.

"It's incredible," City's newest Designated Player said of his new home. "I couldn't stop smiling."

That's a reaction shared by many who walk into Orlando City Stadium for the first time. But imagine landing in a new country and hearing a new language while walking into your new club. Oh, and you're only 19.

Such is life for promising young footballers.

Colmán arrives in Orlando as one of City's most dynamic prospects. He's had brief conversations with his coaches, so he has an idea of what his role will be as the Lions gear up for 2018.

Then again, you already have a pretty good idea when you wear No. 10.

"I like to play with the ball," Colmán said. "Try to score some goals and get assists for my teammates."

At Cerro Porteño, he did both in abundance. And then he lifted some hardware.

In his second pro season, Cerro came to rely more on their teenage phenom. His minutes more than doubled from 2016, and he led Cerro Porteño to a 2017 Torneo Clausura championship.

It's why hopes are high for Colmán, who is just the latest stud to be plucked out of South America and into MLS. He feeds a growing sense that things are changing at City and in the league, with an eye towards the future – and a nose for goal.

The young Paraguayan joins Stéfano Pinho, Jose Villarreal, Dom Dwyer and Sacha Kljestan as attacking acquisitions this offseason. Each of those players was brought in because of their knack for putting the ball in the net, one way or another. But each is also an accomplished professional and a committed teammate, which is why Colmán's answer when asked about his personal goals is so encouraging.

"I'd like to get as ready as I can during the preseason and take full advantage of every training session to get in form. I want to help the team reach its goals of getting into the playoffs. We've all bought in and we're going to do our best to prepare and in every game to reach that goal."

Colmán understands there will be a learning curve as he goes through his first MLS season. He also understands that he's not being asked to come in and replace Kaká the way he's doing on the numerical roster.

But that doesn't mean he can't try.

"I've always admired Lionel Messi and Neymar. One day, I hope to play like them."


UPDATE: June 10, 2020 - Major League Soccer announced it will restart the 2020 season with all 26 MLS clubs competing in the MLS is Back Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida beginning July 8. Upon completion of the tournament, MLS plans to continue its regular season with a revised schedule in home markets. The revised schedule may see certain matches from the original 2020 MLS regular season schedule being cancelled or rescheduled. The final number of matches and the schedule for the remainder of the 2020 MLS regular season and related ticket policies will be announced in the coming weeks.