SANFORD, Fla. — Brazilian right back Ruan got an easy-to-follow piece of advice from Orlando City coach James O’Connor before coming to Orlando.
The 23-year-old right back said he was told to keep up what he was doing while with Brazilian Série B side Associação Atlética Ponte Preta. He made 17 appearances for Ponte Preta in 2018 while on loan from Série A side Sport Club Internacional. While with Ponte Preta, he started in seven consecutive matches and went 360 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal.
Ruan wants to bring that success to Orlando City. He was signed to a one-year deal in January.
“The game here is very fast-paced,” he said through a translator. “There’s a lot of strength involved, a lot of speed. I think that really suits my game. It’s something that I do well. That’s where I think I can contribute the most, being physical and applying that kind of speed and strength to the game here.”
Ruan adapting to life in the United States, but it isn’t easy. His first language is Portuguese, though he knows a little Spanish. He wants to learn English.
There are some players on the team who speak Portuguese – Portugal native João Moutinho said he and Ruan have already connected, and midfielder Uri Rosell speaks Portuguese – but Ruan said the language barrier has made things tough.
“It’s obviously tough understanding what people say, and you’ve got to wait for the translators, so you know, it’s frustrating at times, but I think it’s just part of the adaptation process,” Ruan said.
Plus, Ruan had to stay in Brazil while waiting for his visa. The wait meant he missed the team’s two weeks at IMG Academy in Bradenton. During Orlando City’s scrimmage against Louisville City last week, he and midfielder Josué Colmán – who also missed the team’s time at IMG – were spectators at Orlando City Stadium.
“Josué and Ruan, they’re going to have to have the loading phase,” O’Connor said.
“We’re going to try and make sure they get loaded correctly. We just need to be a little bit patient with both of them. I think the temptation is to throw them both in against Louisville and say, ‘OK, here you go.’ That’s not how it’s going to go.
“Both of the guys are going to go through what some of the other guys have gone through and they needed to be loaded and prepared correctly.”
Ruan got a chance to tour Orlando City Stadium early once he was in Orlando. He was inside the Lions’ home venue before the team’s scrimmage against Louisville City and walked away eager for a chance to play in the venue.
“I was very impressed with the stadium,” he said. “Very top-notch. Comparable to European stadiums. I’m excited to perform well there and make my mark.”
Other player updates
Striker Dom Dwyer (quad) was training to the side Monday morning. He has been recovering from a quad injury.
Third-round draft pick Scott DeVoss has been released by the club. He was taken with the 59th overall pick in the SuperDraft. Only striker Santiago Patiño (who signed a senior contract ahead of the draft) and centerback Kamal Miller remain with the team from Orlando City’s 2019 MLS SuperDraft class.
Holding midfielder Uri Rosell is back with the team after traveling to Spain to get his green card.