How Orlando City could line up with Nicolas Lodeiro

  • Lodeiro left Seattle as a free agent after eight seasons at the club
  • He remains one of the best creators in the league
  • Orlando are aiming to go further in 2024 MLS Cup playoffs with the addition of Lodeiro

Nico Lodeiro is the newest Orlando City player
Nico Lodeiro is the newest Orlando City player / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Veteran midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro departed Seattle Sounders as a club legend after the 2023 MLS season but is set to continue his playing career in central Florida with Orlando City.

Although Lodeiro is on the back-end of his illustrious career, he'll still make an impact with Orlando City, who are fresh off an impressive 2023 season where they recorded their highest-ever finish in MLS in second place while also winning 18 games, another club record.

Lodeiro's 10 goals and one assist in league play last term with Seattle proved that he still has what it takes to deliver at 34 years old, and there's no shortage of quality attackers for him to link up with at his new club.

Here's how the Lions could take the field with versatile Lodeiro.

Lodeiro as an attacking midfielder

Nicolás Lodeiro
Lodeiro shined as a No. 10 in Seattle / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

This is probably where we'll see the former Uruguay international line up for Oscar Pareja, right behind striker Duncan McGuire, after Mauricio Pereyra's exit from Exploria Stadium.

It's where he rose to stardom in Major League Soccer at Lumen Field and eventually tallied 95 assists for Seattle - the most in club history. In an attacking role, Orlando fans would see plenty of chances created by Lodeiro with the likes of Ivan Angulo, Facundo Torres and McGuire making runs in behind opposition defenses.

Potential lineups

  • Angulo - Lodeiro - Torres (4-2-3-1)
  • Ojeda - Lodeiro - Torres (4-2-3-1)
  • Cartagena - Lodeiro - Araujo (4-3-3 attack)

Lodeiro as a deep-lying playmaker

Nicolas Lodeiro
Lodeiro could feature in a more central role / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

If Pareja wants to be more secure on the defensive end of the field, he could opt to play Lodeiro in a less advanced role to help shield the Orlando backline. In this case, Lodeiro could take on the task of being more of a deep-lying playmaker, pulling the strings potentially in his own half of the field.

It might not be as likely for Lodeiro to take up arms in central midfield given that he'd probably do more running here than he would in the attacking third, but it's still an option that he would excel in.

Potential lineups

  • Cartagena - Lodeiro - Araujo (4-3-3 flat)
  • Lodeiro - Cartagena (4-2-3-1)
  • Lodeiro - Araujo (4-2-3-1)

Lodeiro as a winger

Lodeiro brings experience to Orlando
Lodeiro brings experience to Orlando / Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando has plenty of quality options out wide with the likes of Torres, Ojeda, and Angulo, so it would be somewhat of a surprise to see Lodeiro playing as a winger under Pareja. Playing out wide is something he was probably much more familiar with during his playing days at Ajax in the Eredivisie and Nacional in his native Uruguay.

Lodeiro also more than likely wouldn't be as effective out wide given that he may have lost a bit of pace after playing for over a 15 years. It's still an option for Pareja, though, especially if Orlando encounter injury problems given the amount of fixtures teams play each season.

Potential lineups

  • Lodeiro - Ojeda - Torres (4-2-3-1)
  • Angulo - Ojeda - Lodeiro (4-2-3-1)
  • Lodeiro - McGuire - Torres (4-3-3)
  • Angulo - McGuire - Lodeiro (4-3-3)