Lineup changes have raised some eyebrows so far this season across the Orlando City spectrum.
Aurélien Collin, an MLS Cup champion with Sporting Kansas City, has been dropped to the bench for the first time in his ongoing five-year spell in Major League Soccer.
Many, if not all, American soccer aficionados would think it’s unfair and unjust that the veteran player isn’t seeing playing time in 2016.
But Collin likes to think otherwise, or at least his deep-connected faith does.
“I give everything I have every day,” Collin told the Orlando Soccer Journal. “It’s not that I’m not playing right now that life has to be miserable. Life is good. I have a God that leads me the right way, and I take this kind of situation like something that’s good for me. I have to become more patient … It’s something that’s going to make me better. You thank God when life is good, and you thank God when life is more complicated.”
It’s no surprise that Collin likes talking about his faith. His social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram are full of worship updates and photos.
On the field, his upbeat spirit among his teammates cover any doubt and frustration about not seeing action so far this season.
Said Collin when asked about his enthusiasm and being an example to his teammates: “As God’s son, I want to be a light so people can look at me and say, ‘I want to follow his steps,’ even after people ask, ‘Why you’re always happy? The coach is not making you play even when you’re good on the field?’
“It’s okay. It’s [Adrian Heath’s] decision. Life is good. I want to be happy when I play and don’t play. I’m always happy.”
Though the defender is well-aware he has neither been selected as a starter, nor played a single minute in Orlando’s first two games this season, he remains optimistic.
Tommy Redding, a 19-year-old homegrown player, has impressed in both of Orlando City’s first games this season and looks to be a staple in Orlando’s first center back position. Meanwhile, Seb Hines and David Mateos have been respectively competing for the second center back position.
Collin, however, said he utilizes his faith as a primary tool to overcome the obstacles 2016 is currently bringing him. It’s something that helps cope with the ongoing changes.
Born in France, deeply-rooted with Venezuelan pride, Collin’s journey of faith has been with him for the last four years. The last three years he’s given himself to God. His faith, which he continued to heavily emphasize, is what keeps him calm and collected on and off the field.
“God is the most important — always,” Collin concluded. “Soccer doesn’t define my life or my happiness — God does.”
Follow Mike Gramajo on Twitter (@byMikeGramajo). For more, also follow the OSJ on Twitter (@OSJSoccer).