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Impact vs Orlando SC : Q&A With The Mane Land

The Impact are welcoming Kaka and Orlando SC for their home debut this saturday. I've reached out to Michael of the Mane Lane to ask him some questions about their MLS debut.

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1-After 3 games Orlando is 1-1-1. Is that surprising or this is the kind of season you are expecting even if it is an expansion club?

I don't think the record is surprising, although we'd have expected our win to come vs. NYCFC, our tie against Vancouver and our loss at Houston and that's not the way it worked out. What's surprising to us is that the team has controlled all three games and yielded very few scoring chances to the opponents. If the strikers and midfielders start finishing chances, this team could become a very big surprise in MLS this season.

2-Kaka is a World Wide super star. How would you rate his start of the season right now ? What  should he improve or adjust to be one of the top player in the league?

Kaká has been as good as advertised so far, with highlight moves in every game. He just seems to have a better understanding of the game than almost everyone around him, both opponents and teammates. He's producing chances and getting shots. I'd rate him as probably an 8 on a scale from 1-10 so far. If there's an area that needs improvement, it's that he must adjust to how physical MLS is. Teams are knocking him down regularly and you can tell he's not used to such treatment. He must rise to that level of physicality to truly make his mark on the league.

3-The season is very young but from what you've seen, in what aspect of the game Orlando SC must improve if they want to make the playoffs

No question it's finishing in the final third. Too often this season there has been fantastic build-up play and great linking around the box but the final shot or through ball is disappointing. Some of that is chemistry. Projected starting striker Martin Paterson has been out with a hamstring injury for a while and they've tried several options as his replacement, but none have quite worked as well. Some of it is only being together seven or eight weeks. The team must be more clinical in the final third to make the playoffs.

4-Who is the player who surprise you the most since the beginning of the season ?

Without a doubt the biggest surprise has been right back Rafael Ramos, who will miss this weekend's game due to international call-up to Portugal's national U-20 team. He's a young kid with relatively little experience and he's done a nice job against such MLS players as DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Davis and Kekuta Manneh. He made MLS Team of the Week for his performance in the win at Houston and has taken to MLS even quicker than players that are seemingly more advanced.

5-Prediction and starting IX for the game this week end ?

I'm going to say the game ends 1-1. Orlando City has struggled to finish and this week will be no difference with several key players missing, but I think they'll scratch one out, possibly on a set piece or bit of Kaká magic. I'll say the starting XI is: Donovan Ricketts, Luke Boden, Sean St. Ledger, Aurelien Collin, Seb Hines, Amobi Okugo, Cristian Higuita (although his health is still in question and it might be Lewis Neal here), Eric Avila, Kaká, Tony Cascio, Pedro Ribeiro.

If Carlos Rivas is healthy enough to play, he'll be back in the lineup either at forward or left attacking midfield.

I would like to thank Michael for his time. You can follow him on twitter at @ManeLandMichael