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Orlando City left back PC savors opportunity to play

New England Revolution forward Juan Agudelo (17) drives past Orlando City SC defender PC during the second half of a match at Orlando City Stadium. (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)

Victor “PC” Giro started his 2018 season with Orlando City well enough.

At least, things were OK for 41 minutes.

The Brazilian defender/midfielder was in the starting XI for the Lions’ season opener against D.C. United. He went 41 minutes before getting sent off with a straight red card, prematurely ending his first match of the season.

He was suspended for a game and didn’t get league minutes for another two and a half months. In fact, PC didn’t get another MLS start until new coach James O’Connor showed up. He’s been the club’s starting left back for the past three matches, with typical starter Mohamed El-Munir further up the pitch as a winger.

“For me, personally, it’s very good to come back and play,” PC said. “I like to play, you know? James is giving me an opportunity. For me, it’s a little bit hard because I was a long time and I didn’t play.”

PC, 24, has seen varying levels of success at left back this season. Against NYCFC, two of his mistakes led to goals for the Pigeons.

Still, during that match and since then, he’s created chances in the attack and has shown flashes of defensive prowess.

“Against New York, I think the first five or 10 minutes [I was] a little bit nervous because I didn’t play for a long time. James gave me confidence. My teammates gave me confidence. I think I did a good job.”

Coach James O’Connor after the NYCFC match said PC is one of the players that’s earned match minutes while the new coaches have been evaluating members of the team.

“We’ve tried to be true to our word,” O’Connor said. “We’ve tried to be fair with people, give them chances. I think that’s the biggest thing, [PC has] been working hard. He’s been trying in training to do some things to catch the eyes. We felt he deserved a start tonight. We thought he showed a lot of energy considering he hasn’t played in a long time.”

O’Connor has stuck with PC since starting him against NYCFC.

“Now I’m playing, so of course I have a good relationship with [O’Connor], Daniel [Byrd] and the other guys that came with them,” PC said. “He gives confidence for everybody, he’s open for everybody, he helps everybody – he’s good for us.”

PC got some minutes in Orlando City’s 3-0 victory over Miami United in the U.S. Open Cup – he scored a goal in the 62nd minute – but was waiting for another to start a league match.

He got just 16 minutes as a sub during Orlando City’s 2-0 loss to Montreal United on June 23.

PC said getting consistent minutes feels different from what he went through earlier in the season.

“I think it’s getting better,” he said. “I hope I can go and play more games for the rest of the season.”

Orlando City returns to action Sunday against D.C. United at Audi Field. PC said he’s looking to improve, but so is the Lions’ ever-changing back line. The Lions’ have given up 12 goals in the last four matches and O’Connor has yet to start the same back four in back-to-back matches as coach of Orlando City. 

“Every game we score, but sometimes we give stupid goals for the other team,” PC said. “We need more concentration in the game and to keep together.”




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