Orlando City SC is in an interesting position ahead of their inaugural season in Major League Soccer.
For one thing, they’ve been plying their trade in USL PRO for several years, and have a manager in Adrian Heath who has overseen the team for a spell and is bringing back several players familiar with his program.
And Monday’s half-day trade window also brought Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall, Sporting KC defender/fashion mogul Aurelien Collin and Philadelphia holding mid Amobi Okugo to Orlando.
So there was plenty in the books when Orlando City made their first pick in Wednesday’s expansion draft, and OCSC didn’t play it safe.
The club chose 37-year-old goalkeepr Donovan Ricketts of Portland with the first overall pick despite acquiring Hall earlier this week, and went on to take a lot of boom-or-bust prospects before snagging Heath Pearce late.
And OCSS also brought in Jalil Anibaba from Seattle, along with Columbus’ on-again, off-again star Jairo Arrieta. There’s also steady add-ons in Colorado’s Danny Mwanga and Tony Cascio, who join a Columbus prospect the Crew will be unhappy to lose: Eric Gehrig.
Orlando could compete for a playoff spot right away, especially with more signings sure to come. While NYCFC may have the more eye-popping roster after the expansion draft, Orlando could be in good shape if its risks pay off.