Kaká comments after Adrian Heath’s exit from the club

Following the day after Orlando City announced the firing of long-time coach Adrian Heath, the team’s training session for the first time in its MLS history was oddly overwhelming at Sylvan Lake Park.

The club’s operations staff was tripled its normal size Tuesday morning, and in the midst of what occurred on Wednesday night, newly-named interim coach Bobby Murphy and captain Ricardo Kaká met with reporters to discuss the an ongoing dilemma that has plagued the club on-and-off the field for most the season.

“I want to thank Adrian [Heath] for everything he did for this club,” was the first thing the Brazilian star said when he began talking. “Eight years here, and he participated in the start of this club, I worked one year and a half with him, so thank you for everything you did for us, I wish him good luck the rest of his career.”

According to Kaká, the decision the club made on Wednesday wasn’t an easy one, and is ordinary in soccer. The team captain, like always, looked at the bright side of moving on.

“It’s difficult to say when is the best time to change things, so the club decided at this moment to change, and we will respect the club’s decision and we need to have the concern that we have to be better if we want to make the playoffs,” he said.

“It’s a big sign for the players, it shows that the club is not satisfied with what we’ve done until now. Of course, they change the coach, but it’s a big sign for the players that we need to change a lot of things to make these things happen.”

Kaká received notice about Heath’s exit on Wednesday night through the club’s press release, saying it caught everybody by surprise. The Brazilian star went further to answer questions about whether he played an influence in Heath’s firing.

“[The club] have not consulted with me, neither for the last coach we had, nor the next coach. I think the situation has to be like this, if they ask, I’ll give my opinion, but the decision is final from the club, not from me or whoever. It’s the board that decides what’s best for the club,” Kaká said in spanish.

The captain also reiterated his statement in english: “I don’t think it concerns with the players, the players can’t say what is the best for change or not. The club is bigger than the players, of course, players have the opinion, and our opinion should be listened, but our opinion shouldn’t be the last to decide this.”


Kaka has only played in nine games of the 16 played by the club this season, scoring three goals and notching five assists for the Lions in 2016 (Photo by Jeremy Reper).

Orlando City are coming off its worst defeat of the season, falling 4-0 to FC Dallas last Monday at Toyota Stadium. But a run of bad results prior to that game against Dallas could be what influenced the club to fire Heath, says Kaká.

“The bad results that we had the last games, was the point of the situation. The club took the results as a situation to change at this moment. Right now it’s not an easy moment, but we have to keep working hard, and that’s how we move forward from this.”

The decision to expel Heath from Orlando City could serve as motivation for the players to make a push for the playoffs, says Kaká. According to a team source, the club will look into hiring a new coach as soon as possible.

Murphy and Orlando City B coach Anthony Pulis will lead the team for the time being. Assistant coach Mark Watson left the club on Wednesday.

Kaká says he had a good relationship with Heath and ruled out any disagreements.

“It was very good, I had a very good relationship with him,” he added. “We had a lot of chats during the week before the game, and I can say that we have a very good relationship.”

Kaká, who is suffering from an unconfirmed leg injury, said he will not play in Friday’s game against the Houston Dynamo at Camping World Stadium. The Brazilian added it’s possible he could suit up for Wednesday’s road game at New York Red Bulls.

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