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Orlando City majority owner hints at Kaka interest

KakaACMilan1-Fiorentina (Getty)

By MIKE GRAMAJO

ORLANDO, Fla. — After making its Major League Soccer dream a reality, Orlando City Soccer Club now has its eyes set on another target, a Designated Player.

Majority owner Flavio Augusto Da Silva hinted on Wednesday that he’s focused on bringing in a top-level DP for the team’s inaugural MLS season in 2015.

“Every team in the world would love to have Kaka,” the Brazilian entrepreneur told reporters on a conference call. “It’s the same with Orlando City but we don’t have anything signed with anyone. We have a plan to (sign) a Brazilian soccer star, internationally well known, and this is our priority.

“If it is Kaka or if it is another (Brazilian star), this our plan.”

Rumors of the AC Milan midfielder playing for the Lions surfaced last summer when head coach Adrian Heath confirmed to WFTV that he would welcome the 2007 World Player of the Year to the club once its move to MLS was guaranteed.

While Florida is known for its large Latino population, Central Florida has been known to have a large Brazilian presence.

It’s also worth noting that Kaka’s contract with Milan ends in 2015.

“Kaka is a great friend of mine, who’s been working closely for two years with my company back in Brazil,” Da Silva told reporters after Tuesday night’s event. “I will travel to Europe to speak a well-known player, and we have a plan to bring an international player to join the team in 2015.”

While Da Silva has promised to deliver an international player, he did confirm that the player will be Brazilian, or a “Brazilian Beckham,” like Da Silva said when he was introduced to the Orlando City ownership group in February of 2013.

“Our team wants to win and compete in 2015, and we’re going to need a big player to get there,” Da Silva said.

—–

What do you think of these developments? Do you see Kaka joining Orlando City in the future? Would you like to see him in MLS? Do you believe Orlando City can bring in other top players?

Share your thoughts below.

42 comments
  • Mikebsiu

    Meanwhile my chicago fire are prob working on bringing in a fat lazy overpriced 35 yr old as a DP.

    Like

    • ChiPersianFlip

      2 problems with the fire, one is fixable

      1) Owner doesn’t know anything about soccer; it’s a trendy hobby for him
      2) The stadium in Bridgeview is a boondoggle; no “star” will ever want to play in midwestern, nondescript city; sadly until they build a stadium in the city, nothing will change

      Like

    • Good Jeremy

      Kaka’s eight million will pay for itself via endorsements, jersey and merchandise sales, publicity, and ticket sales, not to mention another round of everything I just listed due to the team performing better with him than. The eight million can then be invested in youth development. It’s not an either/or situation.

      Like

      • Good Jeremy

        *not to mention another round of everything I just listed due to the team performing better with him.*

        Like

    • whoop-whoop

      Let’s see… buy a ticket to see Kaka play or Dom Dwyer and a promise…

      Don’t mean to be crass, because I do agree that youth development is important but you also have to put a product on the field and earn some credibility for your brand.

      I mean…. you wouldn’t buy a lousy meal at a restaurant just because they told you they had a few good prospects in culinary school would you? The two options aren’t mutually exclusive… a good owner can and should look at doing both.

      Like

      • 407

        Please come to my office and dry the coffee spit off my computer screen.

        “…a restaurant just because they told you they had a few good prospects in culinary school…”

        Hilarious!

        Like

  • Travis

    With Kaka’s recent injury history I am just not sure this is a great move for them. The last thing you want is your big name DP to be hurt and never playing

    Like

  • Coco

    it doesn’t matter how many Beckham’s and Kaka’s come to MLS. American soccer fans still will not watch the league. The biggest reason is they don’t like the format of a pointless regular season and 2-leg playoffs to decide champion.

    Like

      • Rory Miller

        Yeah, it’s totally that 2-legged playoff thing. Remember how awesome the rating were back when we played a best of three series? Yep, you really nailed it there.

        Like

      • drew11

        What is hilarious is that he is spends timing trolling about something so “awful”. Somebody needs a job and a g/f.

        Like

    • Reid

      Coco – I believe you are wrong…. I’m an American soccer fan and I will watch… I will also be very interested in watching NYCFC and Miami in the coming years…. two teams I will love to loathe

      Like

      • Adam

        In total viewers, yes…because they play more games on ESPN thanks to the fact that ESPN’s contract with the NBA mandates also airing WNBA games….womp, womp!!

        Like

      • Coco

        NHL and NBA play in arenas. MLS plays in outdoor soccer stadiums.

        oh, and WNBA

        Like

    • Chris

      The issue is a pointless regular season followed by a playoff to decide champion? So, what exactly keeps people watching the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB?

      Oh, and the WNBA.

      Like

  • utep10elpasotx

    how about mls goes for 4 or 5 dps, raise salary cap, have free agency.
    Change the playoffs system, have knock out games and top team in their conference, wins conference and has a direct semifinal spot or final four spot.
    also nasl and mls need to work together, just like uslpro does.

    Like

    • Coco

      everyone wants free agency except for a handful of MLS sycophants. But the reality is MLS will never ever have free agency with the single entity system.

      Like

      • whoop-whoop

        Weird… I guess nobody told single entity/franchised leagues like MLB, NFL, and NBA that they couldn’t have free agents.

        Like

      • Edwin in LA

        Really? So they don’t take decisions as one whole league? Like who makes the uniforms? Who can actually play in the league etc,etc?

        Like

  • alocksley

    Kaka is rounding nicely into form right now. He looked quite good in the Champions league, and has gotten back on the scoresheet recently. This is a guy who would not accept his salary while he was injured – a class move from a class guy. Any organization would be lucky to have him.

    Like

  • Adam

    Also, it should be mentioned, that Kaka has a house in Orlando and spends a great deal of the off season here. He has actually shown up at Orlando City training in the past and has a relationship with the manager and the other owners

    Like

  • bryan

    hinted?! he basically straight up said it at the conference yesterday once the crowd started chanting, “We want Kaka!” which was really funny because clearly some of the politicians behind him had NO idea who Kaka was and were asking why everyone was chanting for poop.

    either way, i think it’s all but done Kaka will be in Orlando. there is no way it doesn’t happen. i wouldn’t rule out a 2nd big name Brazilian player either. Ronaldinho perhaps. maybe Robinho. but my bet is if Miami get a franchise, Beckham will be looking at one of them as well. my money on Ronaldinho.

    Like

    • bryan

      in fact, i’m going to make some predictions (assuming Miami gets the go ahead):

      Ronaldinho – Miami
      Xavi – Miami

      no way Becks doesn’t get Claure and his Barca connections in on this.

      Kaka – Orlando
      Robinho – Orlando
      Xabi – NYCFC
      Sneijder – LA

      as for Klose, Drogba, Eto’o, Lampard, Defoe, and the rest of the players constantly linked with MLS, i’d say it is a toss up between NYCFC, NYRB, LAG, Seattle, or Toronto. why Toronto? they continue to be a big spender. i’d also guess that a big name English player ends up in Miami. i would say Lampard, but only if Ronaldinho and Xavi don’t go. otherwise, it’ll be a striker.

      Like

  • Keith

    Yes, aging superstars are exactly how to succeed. Just look at how SKC built… oh. Well, how about all the success Deuce had this sea… oh. Hmmm, yeah. Wipe your ass with $8m “kaka” dollars Orlando. You didn’t want to be good anyway.

    Like

    • Rusten Hurd

      Keith,
      I suppose its too far for you to recall the last two seasons of MLS Cup Championships or the Supporters Shield winner from this year. I’m rather certain that David Beckham, Robbie Keane & Theirry Henry had no impact whatsoever on any of those titles. I’m also certain that bringing Kaka to Orlando would do nothing to positively brand the team or demonstrate its commitment to the city, the league and the country. Also, I’m sure you are right that Kaka is done and will not be of help to anyone — sure, he did just score a sweet goal against Barcelona in the CL a couple weeks ago out-pacing one of the best fullbacks in the world for the finish but he is worthless. Oh, and those billion social media followers he has — who cares about them. Oh, and those millions of Brazilian tourists who come to Orlando every year — I’m sure none of them would have any interest in buying a ticket to see Kaka play.

      In other words your post is myopic, sophomoric, absurd and just plain dumb.

      Like

      • Keith

        Husten –

        IF Da Silva is willing to pay to build a team to compete alongside Kaka, then yes your points may be valid. But if they try to just call it “good enough” with Kaka and a bunch of castoffs they’re going to end up like every other Florida team. You appear to be *vastly* overrating Kaka’s Q score if you think he deserves mention with Beckham/Keane/Henry. He’ll bring a few looky loos, but if the team around him is “what they could afford after paying Kaka” then no one’s going to stick around.

        Mutiny and Fusion had “big names” and a couple good years. But building for the long term in MLS means you build a strong foundation, a good system, and then you sprinkle in the DPs as they fit. Building a team around a mid-tier DP is a proven road to ruin, especially in the sunshine state.

        Besides, all this Orlando push will be overshadowed by the Lebeckham Fusion II’s a season or two after they start play anyways.

        Kid in 2030 reading old news story:
        “Orlando City MLS… I remember my dad talking about them. Is that one of the teams Valderrama played for?”

        Footnotes to history start with oversized DP contracts.

        Like

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