Orlando City

2023 Orlando City Season in Review: Dagur Dan Thorhallsson

Let’s take a look back at Dagur Dan’s first year as an Orlando City player.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Orlando City signed Icelandic midfielder Dagur Dan Thorhallsson on Jan. 31, 2023. The then-23-year-old was signed to a two-year deal with two additional option years for 2025 and 2026. Initially, most of his appearances came as a substitute, but as the year went on he stepped up and nailed down the starting right back job. While it took him a few games to become comfortable with the position, he made it his own and no one else was able to displace him from the starting XI.

Let’s have a look back at Thorhallsson’s first year as a Lion.

Statistical Breakdown

In MLS play, Thorhallsson made 30 appearances with 12 as a starter, and racked up a total of 1,195 minutes. At the defensive end he had 11 tackles, nine interceptions, 18 clearances, and two blocks while committing seven fouls and receiving two yellow cards. On offense he took 13 shots and put three of them on target, scored two goals, dished out three assists, completed 20 dribbles, and drew 11 fouls. He passed the ball with 88% accuracy, completed nine key passes, three crosses, and 14 successful long balls.

He got the start at right back in all three of OCSC’s playoff games, totaling 300 minutes on the field. On defense he had four tackles, three interceptions, six clearances, and a block while committing three fouls and picking up one yellow card. He passed with 85% accuracy, and completed one cross and two long balls, and on the offensive side of the ball he took five shots but didn’t put any on target and drew two fouls. He did not score a goal or assist on one in the postseason.

In Concacaf Champions League play he made two substitute appearances for a total of 29 minutes. He didn’t record any goal contributions or defensive statistics, but passed with 80% accuracy and completed one long ball. He took one shot which he put on target, and drew one foul.

He got the start against Charlotte FC in the U.S. Open Cup and played for 61 minutes. He did not record any goal contributions or defensive statistics, but took care of the ball well, as he passed with 90% accuracy.

Best Game

For my money, Dagur Dan’s best game came in the 3-2 home win over the New England Revolution back in October. Getting the start after coming on as a late sub during the midweek game against Nashville, he had a big impact on the game from the right back position. He logged a team-high 76 touches and made the most of them, completing 95% of his passes. Thorhallsson was engaged on defense and recorded a tackle, an interception, three clearances, and a block, while keeping his nose clean and not committing any fouls. On offense he took one shot which was off target, but completed a key pass, one cross, and had the assist on Duncan McGuire’s opening goal.

As a result of his efforts he was given a grade of 7.5 out of 10 by Nic Josey in our Player Grades piece, and was the runner-up for the Man of the Match award behind Ivan Angulo.

2023 Final Grade

The Mane Land staff awarded Thorhallsson a composite grade of 6.5 out of 10 for the 2023 season. Most of us expected him to be a substitute in the midfield when the minutes started to wear on Cesar Araujo and Wilder Cartagena, and that’s originally how things started out. Following Mikey Halliday getting injured and then missing time with the USMNT U-20 team, Thorhallsson was one of the options who Oscar Pareja tried out at right back, alongside Kyle Smith. While it took him several games to really get comfortable with the position, Dagur Dan eventually made it his own and kept it even when Halliday was back and available for selection. Overall, it was a very solid first year from the Icelandic player.

2024 Outlook

We know that Thorhallsson is already under contract for next year, and has the two option years that could keep him here until 2026, so he’ll be back in purple next year. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of role he plays though. While he nailed down the right back job this year, Halliday presents a more natural fit at the position, and the departures of Junior Urso and Mauricio Pereyra might mean that he’s in line to be used more in the midfield next season. Still, he’s a versatile player and has proven that he’s capable of being a starting caliber fullback at the MLS level, so if no one else can dislodge him then we might see more of him at right back in 2024.

Previous Season in Review Articles (Date Posted)


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