Orlando City cut roster down to 28, still have plenty of young talent


Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

Akeil Barrett was waived by Orlando City SC on Thursday after being selected 25th overall in the MLS SuperDraft in January.

Orlando City SC has cut their roster down to 28 after Brazilian defender Gustavo and second round MLS SuperDraft pick Akeil Barrett were both waived according to an announcement by the club on Thursday.

Gustavo had been with the club since January after spending his whole career playing in Brazil. Orlando City now has six natural defenders remaining on the roster, as well as hybrids Brek Shea and Amobi Okugo.

Orlando City’s starting backline could see veterans like Aurélien Collin and Luke Boden start along with youngsters such as Ty Turner and Tommy Redding. Shea is also expected to make some starts at left back, as he did for the United States Men’s National Team in his most recent stint.

Barrett was a forward who played his collegiate soccer with the University of Akron and University of Tulsa. He was named to first-team all American Athletic Conference during his senior season and was drafted 25th overall by Orlando City in January’s MLS SuperDraft.

The club now has five forwards on the roster, including top overall pick in the SuperDraft Cyle Larin out of UConn.

But Orlando City’s bread and butter going into the 2015 MLS season will be their midfield, which consist of international superstar Ricardo Kaká, long-time Orlando City mid Kevin Molino and El Salvadorian Darwin Ceren.

The roster is also filled with young talent that includes 20-year-olds Bryan Rochez and Carlos Rivas, as well as Portuguese youth internationals Rafael Ramos and Estrela.

Orlando City’s current roster has an average age of 24 and features six teenagers and nine players who are under the age of 21. The club has three 18-year-olds on the roster in Turner, Redding and Harrison Heath.

With the roster now down to 28 players coach Adrian Heath will have a chance to get a better look at some of his players when Orlando City take on BK Häcken in a friendly on Friday. Heath has been pretty consistent in trying to get all of his players into the game for a whole 45 minutes during these early season friendlies.

It’s worth noting that Friday’s friendly will be the first time this year that Brek Shea and Kaká will get to play together on the pitch — presuming Heath starts them in the same starting eleven — since Shea returned from his USMNT stint earlier this week.