Orlando City notes: Day 3 of preseason

Day three of preseason is in the books.

Orlando City trained on Wednesday morning at Sylvan Lake Park before embarking on a 10-day road trip to Jacksonville later in the day.

The club released its preseason schedule, which you can read here. 

Here are some highlighted notes from the training ground: 

Spector’s expectation from Kreis

Jason Kreis got his man.

After a league-high of 60 goals conceded last season, it was apparent the Lions were in dire need of fixing their back line.

So the club signed veteran defender Jonathan Spector of Birmingham City of the English Championship on Tuesday, and the Orlando City coach spoke about where in the back line he see’s the American playing full time this season.

“I really looked at what he has done over many years in England as right back, particularly this season he played almost extensively as a right back,” said Kreis. “But last season he was playing a lot at center back… that’s where I saw him as well with the national team, and that’s where he’ll fit in with us.”

Kreis added that Spector playing center back was a big trait he carries with him, and there’s no doubt he would execute that role this season: “We were looking for somebody with a lot of experience, somebody with a lot of leadership capabilities, somebody that can communicate a little more with the back line, and we believe Jonathan could be that.”

Shea’s focus is on attacking 

It’s becoming clear and official where Brek Shea will play this season.

After a failed left-back experiment last year, Shea slowly started making his way back to an attacking role late in 2016. He’s been training higher-up in the field this week and on Wednesday, Shea revealed that his primary focus is contributing more to the attack.

“[Kreis] told me he wants me in an attacking role,” said Shea. “That gives me something to focus on instead of worrying about different positions, and that’s a position I’ve played most of my career.”

Shea played mostly as an attacking winger during his time at FC Dallas from 2008-2012. The American international also said he feels 100 percent going into preseason camp. He was one of the handful of players Kreis noted that stayed in Orlando during the offseason to train.

Quick Kicks

  • Captain Ricardo Kaka made his first appearance at team practice Wednesday morning. Kreis later said: “He’s flying… he’s absolutely flying. He’s in very good fitness shape right now.”
  • Forward Bryan Rochez, midfielder Kevin Molino, defenders David Mateos and Devron Garcia did not travel with the team to Jacksonville. A club spokesperson told the Orlando Soccer Journal players stayed for various reasons.
  • Pierre Da Silva and Matias Perez Garcia were highly impressive in the team scrimmage during  Wednesday’s training session at Sylvan Lake Park
  • Victor PC Giro and Danny Deakin have not joined preseason camp. According to Kreis, both players are still sorting their visa issues back home in Brazil and England. Both players are expected to join the team next week.

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