The full back position is a bit difficult to evaluate statistically. Your attacking output depends entirely on what the coach is asking from you, and your defensive contributions aren’t easily measured the way they are for center backs and holding midfielders.
Joao Moutinho’s numbers don’t immediately stick out. His three assists are very strong for a full back but not jump-off-the-page great like a Michael Murillo. He attempts more crosses in open play than anyone on the team, but he doesn’t scream lethal crosser like a Romain Metanire. It took him a few weeks to break into the lineup, though he immediately cemented his place as soon as he was given an opportunity.
But what Moutinho is, at the tender age of 21, is a complete, well-rounded left back. His crossing is, as mentioned, already excellent.
He’s also shown a maturity on the ball that betrays his youth. See this remarkable play against Cincinnati, where he passes up an open Chris Mueller on the touchline and opts to cut the ball inside and unsettle Cincy’s defensive block:
Moutinho’s defense, considered a liability at LAFC last season, has greatly improved. He ranks second on the team in tackles with 27, behind only defensive midfield whiz Sebas Mendez. He is third on the team in possessions won, behind Mendez and Ruan. Along with Robin Jansson, he has brought stability to a spot where Orlando City have struggled to get consistency throughout their time in MLS.
Most memorable moment
Moutinho was not part of the preferred XI to start the season, but chipped in a magnificent performance in his Orlando debut on March 23 in New Jersey, notching this game-winning assist in a 1-0 win over the Red Bulls that kickstarted Orlando’s 2019 season. The game instantly secured Moutinho a spot in the starting lineup.