So far, the first team opportunities haven’t been there for Orlando City midfielder Pierre Da Silva.
He spent all of 2016 and a good chunk of 2017 with OCB, which suspended operations this season. He made one MLS appearance last season and hasn’t seen the pitch for Orlando City on match day this season.
Da Silva isn’t sitting idle while waiting for an opportunity in an MLS match. On Monday, he returned to the club from after being loaned to Saint Louis FC. He played in three matches for the USL side, which is coached by former OCB coach Anthony Pulis, and scored a goal against Orange County SC on July 21.
He’s getting minutes where he can. This recent loan was Da Silva’s second stint with Saint Louis — he was loaned there in May.
“There’s always frustration,” Da Silva said about not getting minutes with Orlando City. “But you just [have to] never let that get to your head. You just have to keep working, keep working. Just be patient.
“My goal is just keep working hard, keep training hard and hopefully I get a chance.”
Speaking about his recent loan, Da Silva said, “It was just another opportunity to show the coaches that I can get a chance. James sent me there for three matches and I did what I had to do. I played three full matches and I got playing time.”
Showing the coaches he’s ready to play is one of the objectives of a successful loan, Da Silva said. He added life isn’t necessarily harder without OCB for match minutes, it’s just different.
“When we had OCB, we had guys always getting minutes,” he said. “Now we don’t have OCB, so we just have to train harder and harder just to break into the 18 to make sure you’re getting minutes.”
Da Silva said despite not getting first-team minutes, he’s growing as a player.
“As an individual, every practice, it’s a chance to grow,” he said. “I’ve been training with the MLS team last year and this year and I think I’ve been growing as a player and getting experience because I’ve been playing with good players here.”
One of the good players Da Silva, who turned 20 years old a little more than a week ago, spends time with is Peruvian midfielder Yoshimar Yotún.
“We have a lot of experienced guys, but usually I talk to mostly Yoshi,” Da Silva said. “He’s been around Europe, South America. … He played in a World Cup, so I go to him and he always gives me advice.
Da Silva, who is half-Peruvian, said Yotún is like a father figure to him and that the two spend time outside of training together.
Orlando City’s recent trade with the Columbus Crew, which sent Justin Meram back to Columbus in exchange for $300,000 in 2018 Targeted Allocation Money and $450,000 in 2019 TAM, raised the question of when the 2018 TAM expires.
According to the league, “Any TAM that is traded has an expiration date.”
The $300,000 in 2018 TAM expires Aug. 31, 2019, after the 2019 primary and secondary transfer windows close. If the club doesn’t use it, it loses it.