Kaká: The Man of Orlando City
By Darren Williams
“Kaká! Kaká! Kaká!” is all that fills the stands in Orlando, FL at the Orlando City Soccer’s Lion’s Den just after Kaká scored the historic first goal for the MLS team at the inaugural game on May 8th. In defining moment of redemption after having lead the game the Lions were down 1-0 to the NYC FC, Kaká scored a goal off a defensive kick at the 91st minute of the game. The stadium erupted into chaos as the legendary soccer player put the Orlando team on the map and it official that Orlando City Soccer is a force to be reckoned with.
Kaká, Born Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, is the newest addition, captain, and star to join Orlando City Soccer Club as of January 2015. Extremely gifted and skilled with agility, strength, and creativity Ricardo is a profound addition to Orlando since he can play multiple positions on the field with ease. Prior to Kaká deciding to take his talents to Central Florida, he started playing soccer at a very early age. So early that he was actually part of a soccer club at 8! At 15, he was such a young phenom that he was signed a contract his home town team Sao Paulo where he played for a month till he was signed to Italy’s AC Milan club from 2003 to 2009. Then played for Real Madrid in 2009 to 2014, and eventually returned to Milan for one last season before he agreed to come to OSC. During these times Kaká made his mark in the MLS by winning multiple trophies and gaining worldwide recognition, such as the FIFA World Player of the Year Award in 2007, FIFA Club World Cup, and the Super Cup.
The new face of Orlando Soccer has had his share of struggles and worked through it all with faith in his religion and never giving up. Kaká grew up in tough Brazil with a civil engineer father and mother as a teacher he was better off than most of his peers but still worked hard towards his dreams. When Ricardo began his ascension into the MLS world he hit a few bumps also known as injuries. Actually, when Kaká was 18 he had an accident at a swimming pool that fractured his spinal cord and almost paralyzed him. This could have taken his entire career from him before it even started but he healed with his strong faith in God and his church, which he credits fully with his recovery. Kaká is devout in his religious beliefs, which he models his and his family life around. His faithfulness to his religious could be said to be the core to all his humanitarian efforts he is heavily involved with. Ricardo is active in multiple charitable societies such as THORN, UNDP, World Wide Food Program, and Goal4America. THORN is a organization that deters child predators and protects victims that he plays charity football matches for and helps the UNDP with building up less fortunate nations to withstand natural disasters, such as support for Haiti. He is more notably recognized for being the youngest ambassador for the World Wide Food Program to feed the hungry youth.
Since Kaká has made Orlando his official territory with a game changing inaugural goal, I think it’s safe to say Orlando citizens can stop mourning over Dwight Howard and embrace the force of Kaká!