The time has come for Orlando City fans to get excited to have another player join the pride of Lions in MLS. The Chivas USA Dispersal Draft is coming up tomorrow and, with Orlando having the seventh pick in the draft there are any number of exciting players that could potentially be coming down south to Florida. After looking over the current Chivas roster, I have found a few players that would fit quite nicely into Adrian Heath’s team for next year.
With Orlando not retaining veteran center backs Rob Valentino or Brad Rusin, the Lions are in need of a quality defender. In steps 22-year-old Andrew Jean-Baptiste. Not only does he fit the age dynamic that Heath is trying to build his team around, but Baptiste is a strong 6-foot-2 player, who is quick on his feet and a solid young center back. He’s currently projected to go in the first three picks, however, if he slides to No. 7, Orlando may want to snag him.
One of my personal favorites from the Chivas roster is the veteran Englishman, Nigel Reo-Coker. I can remember him playing for West Ham United and Aston Villa back in the mid 2000s. He was a quick, strong midfielder who was very aggressive and played box to box. I was always somewhat impressed with him when I watched him play and the possibility of bringing him to Orlando is quite exciting to me. Although he has lost a step or two over the years, Reo-Coker would be the perfect consummate veteran that could play in Heath’s defensive midfield and teach the younger players how to better understand the game. Again, he is projected to go fairly high, but you never know what the other teams might do.
This player seems to be the consensus on everyone’s projection drafts to come to Orlando and, to be honest, it’s not too bad a choice. Agustín Pelletieri is a veteran Argentinian who has played most of his career in Argentina, most recently for Racing Club. Another possibility at the defensive midfield position, Pelletieri is a player who not only still has the ability to play at a high level, despite being 32 years old, but also has the experience of captaining his club in Argentina. With such a young club in Orlando, Pelletieri’s leadership and teaching ability could go very far with the Lions core group of players.
There are a number of other useful players that could fall to Orlando City at No. 7 if these three don’t. And one can’t discount the potential for salaries to prevent a selection, as in Reo-Coker’s case.
Any way you look at this Dispersal Draft, Orlando will get a player who can help their roster when they arrive for training. Even so, there is so much more to look forward to next month, when the Expansion Draft comes around on Dec. 10.