How Would Chicharito Fit With Orlando City?



Today on ESPN I saw two grown men spin a wheel at random to take one NFL quarterback off of a team and put him on another team.

So, since ESPN is dealing in a complete fantasy world, I figured I could at least pose a hypothetical that could realistically happen, and look at what the addition of Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez would mean both for him and for Orlando City SC.

Here is what we know

Chicharito is currently property of another team. However, the Manchester United forward's agent said earlier this month there would not be a return to the English Premier League. There is still a chance Hernandez could find a home in Europe, but Hernandez's agent made it known they would at least listen to MLS offers.

There would likely be plenty of potential suitors for Chicharito if he were to choose to come across the river. But, we do know that Chicharito will be in Orlando this week as his Mexican national team will take on Costa Rica tonight. However, the Orlando Sentinel's Paul Tenorio reported that there is no meeting set up between the forward and the club (link not included due to paywall).

A lot of things would have to happen for Orlando City to acquire Chicharito, but let's just pretend he falls in love with the city during his visit here, and agrees to play for the Lions next week.

What is his role?

The old basketball adage goes, "shooters shoot." Put a goal scorer of Chicharito's caliber on Orlando City and you expect the 27-year-old to unleash furious strikes at goal. Hernandez is good enough with both feet to get around defenders and also plays well in the air, so the opportunity is there to see him score goals in a variety of ways.

Who has more star power, Kaká or Hernandez?

Obviously, fans like to gravitate toward the shiny new toy, so at the beginning it would make sense for Chicharito to have more star power than Kaká. To go along with that, with Chicharito being quite a few years younger, it is reasonable to think Chicharito would outperform Kaká on the pitch.

But, realistically, it would take a superstar of a much higher quality than Chicharito to overtake Kaká as the star of the team in the eyes of the fans and even the media. While older and on the down slope of his career, the Brazilian is one of the most likable soccer personalities in the world. His career achievements alone are enough to garner him the title of superstar for the rest of his career.

There is also the possibility that Chicharito may not be received well by American fans. He plays for the American rival Mexico squad and fans may not warm up to a rival player quickly.

Who takes the back seat?

With so many changes taking place at the forward position next to Cyle Larin, there may not be any one player who takes a back seat because of Chicharito if he were to sign with Orlando City. There would however, be three players who likely see decreased roles: Bryan Rochez, Carlos Rivas and Pedro Ribeiro.

With Rochez and Rivas being young Designated Players, it could take away a little bit from the development of the players to bring in Chicharito. All three players would have to compete to earn minutes just sparingly. But it would be hard to argue with an addition of a goal scorer that could lift OCSC to the next level. On the other hand, it might give a guy like Rochez more minutes, as he could be loaned out.

Who benefits most?

Well, besides the fans of Orlando City, the person who would benefit most from the addition of Chicharito would probably be the rookie Larin. As Larin continues his run of good form, more and more teams will be paying closer attention to the Canadian and marking him to keep him off the score sheet. But the addition of Chicharito would mean teams would have to focus on him and that would in turn free up space for Larin to roam a little bit more free (that is, assuming the shape changed to include two forwards).

OK, we're back in real life now. Again, a lot of things would have to happen for the signing of Chicharito to become anything more than just speculation. But, just in case it happens, you may want to check out the game at the Citrus Bowl tonight. You will probably like what you see.


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