Josué Colmán joined Orlando City in January from Club Cerro Porteño in Paraguay. The attacking midfielder was brought in to add some pace and creativeness to the Lions’ attack, while being someone that could grow with the club. The 2018 MLS season brought some mixed results for Colmán. While the Young Designated Player looked excellent in certain games, taking on players and creating opportunities, others he looked out of place. Some of this may have been because the midfielder was forced into a forward role when Dom Dwyer was injured. However, there appears to be tremendous potential that he could be a key player for the first team in coming years.
In league play, Colmán took part in 24 games and started 10. His lone goal of season came on March 31 against the New York Red Bulls, a deflected shot that completed the Lions’ comeback for the first win of the season. Additionally, he had five assists during the season, finishing fourth on the team in that category, with two coming on June 9 against the Vancouver Whitecaps. He took 28 shots, getting 11 on goal in 2018, and passed at an 84.3% success rate, creating 22 scoring chances.
Defensively he struggled at times, averaging 0.5 tackles and 0.2 interceptions, and finished without making any clearances or recording any blocks in his 1,054 minutes. He wasn’t shown any yellow or red cards in his first MLS season.
In addition to his league appearances, Colmán also took part in all three U.S. Open Cup games, starting two. In his 197 minutes of USOC play, he didn’t score a goal or record an assist — although he did bury his penalty in the shootout against D.C. United — and attempted five shots (two on target).
There were a few games that could have been Colmán’s best, but his most impactful was in just his second appearance as a Lion in a 4-3 win over the New York Red Bulls on March 31. Coming on for Cam Lindley at halftime, the teenage substitute created a spark and used his pace to lead the charge through the midfield. A back-and-forth affair, both teams appeared to be taking home one point following an 82nd-minute Aaron Long equalizer. But four minutes later, the Lions recaptured the lead. Right back Scott Sutter received a ball from Sacha Kljestan and took aim on goal. Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles appeared to have it in his sight but the ball deflected, unknowingly, off the back and head area of Colmán. The goal may have been accidental but Colmán’s impact was very recognizable and made a difference in the game.
2018 Final Grade
The Mane Land staff gives Josué Colmán a 4.5 grade for the 2018 MLS season, recognizing that he’s still young at just 20 years of age and can grow over the coming years. The games in which he played his natural midfield position saw him much more effective than when he was put up top, which was only done due to an injury to Dom Dwyer and the struggles of Stéfano Pinho.
Orlando City had the worst season of its eight years history this season so it’s safe to say that many of the players will not be returning. However, Colmán is only 20 years old and can still develop into a quality player so it’s much too early to give up on him. He showed some genuine skill during the season but his failure to keep his head up with the ball and take the shot when open were his downfall. Like with many young players, 2019 will be a key season for Colmán. You can expect him to play an important role in the midfield, either starting or off the bench, and next season will be the true telling of whether he’s one for the future.