Orlando City

2023 Orlando City Season in Review: Martin Ojeda

Martin Ojeda had a slightly underwhelming first year in purple as he adjusted to the demands of a new league but was still productive.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Jeremy Reper

Orlando City signed Martin Ojeda to a three-year deal with two additional option years back on Jan. 9. The Argentine attacker became the Lions’ third Designated Player alongside Facundo Torres and Ercan Kara. He began the year in the starting XI but eventually slotted into a substitute role while rotating in and making spot starts, as Oscar Pareja keyed in on his preferred starting lineup.

Let’s take a look back at Ojeda’s first year with OCSC.

Statistical Breakdown

Ojeda played in all 34 of Orlando City’s regular-season games, starting 16 of them and accruing 1,751 minutes played. On offense, he took 65 shots and put 26 of them on target, scored six goals, had 10 assists, and contributed 47 key passes while passing with 79% accuracy. He also completed 29 crosses and 42 long balls. Defensively, he had 22 tackles, 13 interceptions, and 20 clearances. He committed 12 fouls, drew 10 fouls, and was never booked.

He also made substitute appearances in two of Orlando’s playoff games, totaling 80 minutes on the field but did not have a goal contribution. He took three shots and put one on target, passed with 79% accuracy, and completed three key passes, three crosses, and a long ball. He also recorded one interception on the defensive side of the ball.

He got the start in both of the Concacaf Champions League games against Tigres UANL and racked up 166 minutes on the field. He had two interceptions, passed with 77% accuracy, completed two key passes, two long balls, and a cross, and put one of his three shots on target, but had no goal contributions.

He started one of the three games in Leagues Cup, and played a total of 102 minutes. He put one of his three shots on target, passed with 78% accuracy, completed five key passes, two long balls, and four crosses, and both drew and committed one foul. But again, there were no goal contributions in that competition.

He also got 21 minutes as a substitute in the U.S. Open Cup, in which he took one off-target shot, passed with 67% accuracy, completed two long balls and a cross, and drew one foul. Orlando was shut out in that match so Ojeda did not have a goal or an assist.

Best Game

The honor of Ojeda’s best game of the year goes to the wild 4-3 comeback win over the Columbus Crew. With Orlando City jockeying for playoff position and every game being extremely important, things got off to a bad start as the Lions conceded an early goal to Julian Gressel. Ojeda leveled things just after the break though, as he got on the end of an Ivan Angulo cross and did well to keep his effort down and on target.

The Lions then proceeded to ship two more goals and were trailing 3-1 with just over 15 minutes remaining, but Ojeda and OCSC weren’t done. The Argentine got the assist on the goal that got Orlando back in the game, as he passed up a chance to shoot in order to lay the ball off for Facundo Torres, who lashed the ball into the far corner to give the Lions hope.

His influence didn’t end there, either. He took both of the late free kicks which led to Orlando’s equalizing goal and the eventual winner. He put in a pair of excellent balls that caused all sorts of problems, and his fingerprints were all over the game from start to finish.

In total, Ojeda finished his night with a goal, a primary and secondary assist, five key passes —which was a team-high — put one of his two shots on target, and passed at an 87.5% rate, while completing three long balls and two of his team-high eight crosses. He also committed one foul and chipped in with a clearance on defense.

Ojeda was given an 8 out of 10 grade by Michael Citro in our Player Grades piece, and likely would have been Man of the Match if not for Ramiro Enrique’s match-winning performance.

2023 Final Grade

The Mane Land staff gave Ojeda a composite grade of 6.5 out of 10 for his first season with Orlando City. His 16 goal contributions isn’t a bad output by any means, but frankly it isn’t ideal when one of your Designated Players can’t hold down a spot in the starting lineup. He showed flashes of brilliance at times, but his inconsistency could be frustrating, and you simply need higher levels of output from DP players in MLS.

2024 Outlook

Ojeda will be back next year, and hopefully with a full season in the league under his belt, his performances will improve. He certainly isn’t a bad player, and it might sound like I’m being harsh on a guy who was a pretty big statistical contributor for the team. If he can show his best on the field more consistently, then he’ll be difficult to keep out of the starting XI, and it’ll be interesting to see what kind of role he takes on now that Mauricio Pereyra is no longer with the club.

Previous Season in Review Articles (Date Posted)


Exit mobile version