Is Kaká Orlando City's Lucky Charm?

Discover how the ex-superstar spurred the team to a smashing victory
MLS match New York Red Bulls v Orlando City SC
MLS match New York Red Bulls v Orlando City SC / Ira L. Black - Corbis/GettyImages

Last Saturday, the atmosphere was electric at the INTER&Co Stadium—a magical night where Orlando City SC put on a masterclass, crushing D.C. United 5-0. It was a true goal fest and a display of talent. But what really caught everyone's eye was the presence of the legendary Kaká, honored as the first member of the club’s Legends’ Terrace.

Kaká, one of the biggest names in world soccer, brought a special aura with him. The Ballon d'Or winner and World Cup champion, who donned the Orlando City jersey from 2015 to 2017, seemed to inject a dose of magic into the team. "Maybe having him here was a good luck charm, so he might need to stick around," joked forward Duncan McGuire post-game. Did Kaká really bring luck? Well, what we know is that the Lions started to show a sparkle that had been missing.

Follow MLS Multiplex on X (Twitter).

In the last four matches, Orlando City won three and scored in six consecutive games, the longest streak of the season. The team climbed to seventh place in the Eastern Conference, surpassing the MLS Playoffs line, after a disappointing first half of 2024. Coach Oscar Pareja was beaming: "I think it was an excellent first half, probably the best we’ve played all year. Our players are more confident and we’re getting closer to what we used to be."

Indeed, the expulsion of D.C. United defender Lucas Bartlett in first-half stoppage time helped a lot. When Bartlett received the red card, Orlando City was already up 3-0. Goals from Facundo Torres and Ramiro Enrique sealed the deal, securing the crushing victory. Pareja noted that the team dominated territorially and in terms of spaces, especially in the second half with an extra player. "We’re happy and encouraged to keep going. Overall, we looked a lot more like ourselves."

Saturday's victory wasn't just a show of strength but a sign that something special is brewing at Orlando City. The creativity and urgency in the attack, as highlighted by McGuire, are finally coming together. The team, which many predicted to be a Supporters' Shield contender after a record-breaking 2023 season, is starting to find its rhythm again. And with Kaká backing the team, the hope is that the Lions can not only reach the playoffs but go beyond.

Kaká expressed his enthusiasm and continued support for the team. "I really enjoyed the last season, loved it when Orlando won the US Open Cup," Kaká said on MLS Countdown. "Now I’m supporting the team, and this year I hope Orlando can make it to the playoffs again. And I hope and wish to see Orlando win the MLS Cup someday too."

The smile on Kaká's face as he watched the team's spectacular performance said it all. It was like he was passing the torch, reminding the Lions of the potential they have and the greatness they can achieve.