MLS News: Kaka cries as he plays his last home game for Orlando City
Orlando bids goodbye to the footballing great
What's the story?
Brazilian Football legend Kaka became emotional before and after his final home game for MLS Western Conference side Orlando City. Orlando lost this game 0-1 to Columbus Crew FC following a 67th winner from Ola Kamara.
Kaka will not be playing for the Orlando club next season as he has decided against renewing his contract with City.
In case you didn't know...
Kaka joined Orlando City in 2014 after he left AC Milan as he approached the end of his career, and played with them first in 2015.
At the time, he became the highest-paid MLS footballer of all time, earning up to $7.2 million a year. He was also Orlando City SC's first ever designated player.
Kaka has played for City 69 times since arriving at the club, scoring a total of 23 goals with the team over 3 years. Unfortunately, he has never helped them into a playoff spot.
The 35-year-old has had a very fine career despite having been plagued with injuries throughout. Kaka has played for clubs in like AC Milan and Real Madrid.
In 2007, following his fantastic season in which he helped AC Milan win the Champions League, Kaka won the Ballon d'Or, the most prized individual award a footballer can win.
Kaka has also represented his country Brazil 92 times, scoring 29 times, and has played for them at multiple World Cups (won the 2002 World Cup, but he only played 25 minutes in the tournament).
Orlando City presently sit 11th in the Western Conference and will not make the playoffs with only one game left.
They have been very poor this year.
The heart of the matter
Throughout Sunday, Kaka became tearful for what was his last game for City in Orlando.
Kaka cried when the US National Anthem was being played before the match, after walking out on the pitch with his kids, and then again when he was interview following the game.
It was not the fairytale end Kaka would have hoped for in Orlando, as Orlando City were defeated by Columbus Crew 0-1. Ola Kamara was the pantomime villain as he scored the match's goal after 67 minutes.
In the interview after the game, the emotional Kaka called Sunday a 'special day' and also talked about his favourite moments for Orlando City SC, such as his first game for the club.
Kaka will play his final game for Orlando away from home next week when City face Philadelphia.
It is not known whether Kaka will retire once his contract finishes with Orlando.
Potentially, he could go back to play his final few days as a footballer in his home country of Brazil.
Orlando City SC will have to seriously regroup before next year's MLS Season. Kaka leaves big shoes to fill and even with him they have been awful.
It was heartwarming to see that Kaka seemed to have love for Orlando City SC, apart from the big salary.
Players like Kaka may not always be performing at their prime in the MLS, but they bring eyes to the MLS because of their reputation and previous career accomplishments elsewhere that have garnered them so many fans.
I do hope that the MLS can eventually get players like Kaka, Beckham, Lampard, Gerrard and Keane when they are at their best however,
I expect Orlando City SC to take the off-season as the time to find players to bolster their team for the next MLS season.
Their current squad is obviously just not good enough.