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 10: Tony Cascio 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 Tony Cascio.
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2015 Summary: Unfortunately for Mr. Cascio and for Orlando City fans, Tony was never able to get into a match or onto the pitch due to issues with a bulging disc that prevented him from participating in many team exercises or conditioning drills until late August of 2015. In addition to causing him pain in his back, the condition caused him lingering numbness in his legs and required several medical procedures during the season, according to Paul Tenorio, the Orlando City beat writer for the Orlando Sentinel.
2016 Prediction: It would be a shame to see Cascio dealt, traded, or cut from the team without ever having a chance to play, but I believe there's a good chance we might see Cascio take a roster spot on the USL Side OCB at the beginning of the 2016 season. He's had nearly two full years away from competition due to injury issues (he had season-ending surgery in April of 2014 when he was a member of the Houston Dynamo), and despite his natural skill, I believe he'll need to work himself back into MLS form after such a long layoff. Coach Heath really seemed to be high on Cascio's potential, so I think he'll want to keep him in the fold, but I don't see him being a regular member of the first team at the start of next season.
What about you? What do you think Tony Cascio's future will be with the Orlando City organization, or do you think next season will see him elsewhere? And do you agree he would need some time with OCB to get back into MLS form, or do you think a player can just jump into the first team after an extended layoff with this kind of injury? Let me know in the comments below.