Rafael Ramos was a fun player to watch in 2015. He proved to be among the fastest players on the pitch for Orlando City, and the diminutive 20 year-old also proved to be among the more emotionally volatile and intense players in the lineup. While his passion made him a favorite among portions of the fan base, it's arguable whether that was an overall benefit or impediment to the team on the year.
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2015 Summary: Rafael Ramos played with Orlando City in 2015 on loan from Portuguese side Benfica, along with Estrela. As with the Angolan national, it's unclear to me what the terms of the loan are and whether it would permit Ramos to return to Orlando City in 2016, or whether he will be back in Portugal or elsewhere in Europe. Ramos showed great energy and blazing speed on the pitch, and he was certainly animated and excitable. Unfortunately, this abundance of emotion detracted (in my opinion) from his effectiveness because he picked up yellow cards too early in matches when he played, and had to dial it back a little, causing him to sometimes be out of position to stop counter-attacks. In April his emotional outbursts really hurt against Columbus, when his temper flared after he gave up an easy goal and then he got ejected for a dangerous studs-up tackle against a Columbus player because he was playing out of control. With a man down, Orlando City went on to lose the match 3 - 0, and it wasn't the last time that passion overruled talent by one of the lads in purple and cost us a result.
2016 Prediction: Without knowing the terms of the loan from Benfica, it's hard to say whether I think Ramos will be back with Orlando City next season. If the young man has gained more measure of control over his emotions his speed can certainly be an asset to the club on the pitch. But if he were to come back as the same overly emotional out-of-control player he was in 2015, Orlando City could probably find better value for money in that roster spot.
What do you think? Do you expect to see Ramos back with Orlando City next season? Do you think his emotional style of play is a liability, or do you think that actually helps the team in some respect? Let me know in the comments!