There are 40 days between the first day of the 2015 MLS playoffs on October 28 and the MLS championship on December 6. Orlando City may not be in the playoffs this year, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to reflect on the year that was 2015 and the highs and lows. In addition, I'll be including my evaluation of each player from the first team roster.
Day 6: Eric Avila 2015 in Review
Over the next few days, I'll review the season statistics for each player on the 2015 Orlando City first team. We'll look at some key metrics, key moments, and my expectations for 2016. These posts are in alphabetical order, so next up is Eric Avila.
|Games Started||15||Shots on Goal||3|
2015 Summary: Eric Avila had a promising start to the season, and early on he became my favorite guy to take corner kicks. It seemed that for the first few games of the season all of our players taking corners had a hard time getting the ball head high in front of the mouth of the goal when they took a corner kick. Avila was point perfect in this regard almost every time, and that seems to be the most effective way to convert a corner kick into a score. In fact, I think his first two assist came on such corner kicks.
Then for whatever reason, either due to injury or some other issue, Avila's minutes greatly diminished in favor of some younger and less experienced players, and I thought that hurt us for a time. Later in the season, when Avila returned to the pitch and was getting more playing minutes, he did not seem to be as effective and was no longer taking corner kicks for us.
2016 Prediction: I actually think it's a toss-up if we see Avila back next season. Orlando City is going to be doing a lot of movement of players in the off-season due to free agency, and we will have to give up some good utility players to get more depth. I think Avila may be one of those players we see get dealt to another team in a trade. He seems to be a good MLS player and can bring experience to a team with a lot of youth, but I don't think he was used enough in 2015 to be considered an integral part of the Orlando City game plan.
On the other hand, if we move some of the younger players over to the OCB squad, it may offer much more playing minutes for a guy like Avila to contribute. Personally I would like to see him play and if I had Coach Heath's ear, I might urge him to use Avila on more of those corner kicks if he continues to have that good form he showed in early 2015. But I trust Inchy knows a lot more about the game than I ever will, so I have to trust whatever decisions he and the coaching staff make.
What about you? Do you expect to see Avila back with the club next year and making a contribution? What were some of your favorite things about Avila's game from 2015--were there any moments that stood out for you? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments below!