2022 Orlando City Preview: Orlando Soccer Journal and Orlando Soccer Show staff predictions


Orlando City’s eighth season in Major League Soccer kicks off this Sunday at Exploria Stadium when the Lions host CF Montreal at 1 p.m. Coming off of last season, our knowledgeable staff here at the Orlando Soccer Journal as well as the co-hosts of the Orlando Soccer Show podcast, have come together to offer some predictions for the 2022 season.

Let’s dive right in:

Mike Gramajo

Over/Under 50 points: Over

Conference Finish: 4th

Top GoalscorerErcan Kara

Breakout Star: Cesar Araujo

Mike’s expectations for the season: The Lions have shown since the start of the Oscar Pareja era that they’re worthy playoff contenders. The question I pose this 2022 season is can they make a deep run into the postseason? After splashing a considerable amount of money in transfers this offseason, those expectations were automatically placed. If this Orlando City team can muster a string of consistent roles along with certain key players playing their part, this team has the potential to touch a high ceiling it has never touched before.

Austin David

Over/Under 50 Points: Over

Conference Finish: 6th

Top Goalscorer: Kara

Breakout Star: Torres

Austin’s expectations for the season: After replacing 21 of their goals from last year, the Lions have a new-look attack, but the big question is will they be as effective? If they can and they can stay healthy, they can probably finish top five, but without seeing how the offense will fair, I’ll go a bit lower. They’ll make the playoffs again, but the MLS Conference Semifinals will be as far as they get.

Gavin Ewbank

Over/Under 50 Points: Over (55)

Conference Finish: 4th

Top Goalscorer: Kara

Breakout Star: Torres

Gavin’s expectations for the season: For Orlando to be one of the top teams in the East this season, two crucial things are necessary: they need to stay healthy and they need to avoid their annual summer slump. I think we could look at a flip of what we normally see from this club in 2022 – that is, getting off to a slower start just because of how many new faces have joined in key spots, it’s likely going to take those players some time to gel with the squad and adjust to life in Orlando and MLS, then turning that around and running the table in the second half; if all of that can come together and prove some resiliency then a strong run down the home stretch of the schedule could propel them into the playoffs with enough momentum to make some real noise. Fans are excited and expectations are high — first real trophy in MLS (sorry, Orlando City Invitational) It’s all possible.

Brad Newton

Over/Under 50 Points: Over

Conference Finish: 3rd

Top Goalscorer: Kara

Breakout Star: Torres

Brad’s expectations for the season: What are expectations? An arbitrary standard we make up in our mind about something we often have no control over. Let’s just stand back and appreciate these men who have devoted themselves to sport and remove notions of meeting or failing to live up to expectations and appreciate this team for what it is. Aside from that, the season is a failure if they don’t win a playoff game.

Kyle Foley

Over/Under 50 Points: Over

Conference Finish: 3rd

Top Goalscorer: Kara

Breakout Star: Torres

Kyle’s expectations for the season: With the way the team has improved over the last few years, a playoff appearance is the absolute bare minimum. Even that feels like a slight disappointment, with making the Eastern Conference Final a goal within reach. The Wilfs have proven they’re willing to invest in the club, and if the new signings pay off as expected then the sky is really the limit for Orlando City.

For more soccer news, follow the Soccer Journal on Twitter: @OSJSoccer


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