Jason Kreis says Orlando City close on center back addition

Jason Kreis Orlando City MLS 08072016
Kim Klement
The Orlando City boss says the organization believes it is close to landing an unnamed center back.

Orlando City head coach Jason Kreis is focusing on improving the worst defense in MLS from 2016 and thinks the organization is close to landing a player to help them do it.

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Kreis, who took over last year after Adrian Heath’s midseason dismissal by Orlando, comes into his first full campaign staring down a side that conceded an MLS-worst 60 goals in 2016. However, Kreis told the Orlando Soccer Journal he believes he and his staff can address deficiencies in two ways.

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“There’s two ways to address that: be tactically a little better, can we all be on the same page a little bit more on how and when we defend,” Kreis said. “And the second piece is do we need to get better players; stronger and defensive minded players.”

To that end, Kreis believes Orlando is close to securing a center back to help the club add some strength to the back line.

“We think the answer is somewhere in between. Everybody knows we added two left backs, we’re in the process of trying to address a center back, we think that’s very close to being done. And we feel with those additions as well with more time with the group, we plan to be on a much better defensive situation heading into 2017.”

Rumors have linked Orlando to Bordeaux defender Gregory Sertic since December, but Kreis downplayed those whispers.

“I would tell you that those sorts of rumors were not started by the club, and we won’t comment on those types of rumors.”

Thus far, Orlando City has signed Brazilian fullback Victor Giro and acquired former Montreal Impact fullback Donny Toia while making center back Jose Aja’s loan deal permanent. Orlando City also brought back defenders Kevin Alston and Seb Hines.