Poor Orlando City SC.
Major League Soccer’s insistence on ignoring and playing right through FIFA’s numerous international windows has, perhaps, cost them any chance whatsoever at playing for a victory away to the Montreal Impact.
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Never mind the teams that lose stars like Robbie Keane, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, etc. Orlando City couldn’t even field a full 18-man gameday roster (or 17, or 16) because of injuries (six players) and international call-ups (seven). Instead, they’re rocking a four-man bench
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) March 28, 2015
What MLS is saying, essentially, to its teams is this: “Look, we don’t want you to sign players in the prime of their career, because we’re not going to let you use them for every game. Instead, we want you to sign players either before they reach their prime, or well after, when no national team would come close to calling them up. Those guys, you can have for 34 games. Otherwise, it’s more like 30.”
Just how deep — and desperately — was head coach Adrian Heath forced to dig into his 28-man roster for today’s game?
Making MLS debuts today: Luke Boden, Tyler Turner. Making first MLS start today: Sean St. Ledger. Heath and Redding on bench could debut. — OrlSentinel Soccer (@oslions) March 28, 2015
Turner and Heath are 19, and Redding is 18 — none of which would be anywhere near the gameday roster if an entire bench worth of players wasn’t missing due to international call-ups.