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 15: Estrela 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 Estrela.
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2015 Summary: Some people may vote for Brek Shea, but for my money Estrela has the best hair on the team. Unfortunately he didn't get a chance to play in any MLS matches during the season, but he spent a lot of time in 2015 playing on the Portugal U20 team. Estrela and Rafael Ramos were both on loan to Orlando City from Portuguese side Benfica, with whom Orlando City have cultivated a cozy international relationship. It's obvious he's a talented player from his inclusion on the national team for his country, but we were not able to see much of that talent on display in Orlando outside of a couple of mid-season tournament matches.
2016 Projection: I'll be honest--I don't know how international loans work or if a player can be loaned for more than one season. I would expect that Benfica will evaluate Estrela based on his performance with the U20 team. If they were pleased, then he might well be called up to their first team or have his rights sold to another Portuguese side. I would love to see him back on the pitch for Orlando City, but I think that's probably unlikely.
What do you think about Estrela's future with Orlando City? Do you expect to see him playing back in Europe, or do you predict he will have a role with the club here in Orlando in 2016? Let me know in the comments!