Choosing Orlando City’s Next Captain

Here are the top candidates to have the armband on when the 2024 season kicks off.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Now that Mauricio Pereyra is no longer an Orlando City player, the time has come for the club to name a new captain. The Lions’ former no. 10 served in the role for two seasons following the departure of Nani. There are several candidates who could reasonably take on the mantle, and I’ll go through the cases for them in order of least to most likely to inherit the armband.

Facundo Torres

The argument for Facu is that he’s the team’s best and most high profile player, plain and simple. He starts or plays in most of the team’s games, seems to be well-respected and liked in the locker room, and doesn’t really have run-ins with officials. The arguments against him are that while he’s been here for two seasons, there are other players with more seniority and experience than him, and that despite recently signing a new deal, he isn’t likely to be here for a particularly long time. To summarize, he wouldn’t be a horrible pick but there are absolutely players who make more sense than he does.

Pedro Gallese

El Pulpo has a lot going for him as far as captain candidacy is concerned. At 33, he’s a senior member of the locker room and he’s entering his fifth season with the team, making him one of the longest-tenured players on the squad. He’s obviously a first choice starter, is well-respected as a full international, and aside from an occasional booking for time-wasting, he isn’t known for getting into disagreements with referees. He does have a few things going against him, one of which is that being a goalkeeper, he’s often pretty far away from the referee, which matters now that the league is being stricter about players’ interactions with officials. He’s also only captained the side once before, a number that I thought would be higher, and he wasn’t vice-captain last year. In short, he’d probably be the logical choice if it wasn’t for our final entry, and I think he has a strong case to be named vice-captain.

Robin Jansson

This is really the only logical choice, and I’d be flat-out shocked if the big Swede isn’t the next one to wear the armband. He’s a seasoned player at 32 years of age, one of the first names on the team sheet, is the team’s all-time leader in appearances with 160, and wore the armband eight times last season as the Lions’ vice-captain. While he was prone to picking up yellow cards for dissent in the past, he seemed to largely put that behind him last season. He’s going into his sixth year with the team and — aside from backup goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar — is the longest tenured player on the roster alongside Kyle Smith, who also joined OCSC before the 2019 season. Robin is the right way to go, and I fully expect to see him join a list of captains that includes plenty of club icons.

What are your thoughts on who should be the next man to wear the armband? If you have someone other than Jansson in mind, feel free to have your say down in the comments. Just be sure you make a damn good case!


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