By Keave Tollington – @KeaveT
Sean St Ledger has been targeting MLS as his next career move since he was released by Championship side Ipswich Town in December and he could prove to be a fine signing if Orlando City offer him a contract in the next few weeks.
St Ledger’s career in England had been dwindling even before Leicester City released him last summer, as he made only 2 appearances last season. He picked up various leg injuries whilst at City, forcing him out of the squad most weeks. His time at Ipswich was also short lived and he made no appearances for the club.
Things aren’t all doom and gloom for St Ledger, who has spent much of the last month stateside trying to forge a path in MLS. He was unable to impress at his initial trial at DC United and is now looking to secure a spot on MLS Expansion Team Orlando City’s 2015 roster.
The defender is definitely ready for a change of scenery away from British football and is a bright prospect for Orlando City. Vice President of Soccer Operations at Orlando, Paul McDonough said the club were very keen to get St Ledger’s deal confirmed as quickly as possible.
“Sean is very much first choice at the moment,” he said. “He has the experience and the kind of ability we’re looking for in the middle of the back four.”
Orlando City’s current squad is mostly comprised of young players, who have less than half of the practical knowledge that St Ledger has acquired over the years, and signing him is expected to give Orlando’s backline the experience that it needs to be successful in the 2015 MLS season.
St Ledger played the first 60 minutes of Orlando’s preseason friendly against Swedish side BK Häcken last week and is said to have impressed head coach Adrian Heath. The veteran defender also spent the first-half acting as an instructor for US-under 20 international player, Conor Donovan, helping him to correct mistakes and improve his play.
If things go to plan and St Ledger joins up with the club officially in the next few weeks, it is fair to say that he will provide invaluable experience to the younger members of the Lion’s roster. Aurelien Collin is expected to be the first-choice centre-back with Orlando this season but St Ledger would prove to be a more than capable partner in what could be a solid defence.
Last year might not have been St Ledger’s best, but could 2015 see him succeed in MLS with Orlando City?