Got the chance to meet this legend Alessandro Nesta on Sunday! Was a player I loved watching. pic.twitter.com/OsZiYJVXWw— Sean St Ledger (@seanstledger12) March 10, 2015
MLS has had some star names grave its presence over recent seasons and, while Orlando City SC defender Sean St Ledger might not be among them, Sunday’s 2015 season opener saw the Irishman get the chance to meet one of the biggest.
Italian World Cup-winner Alessandro Nesta made 34 total appearances for the Montreal Impact between 2012 and 2013 after arriving on a free transfer from AC Milan, and the former defender was among the 60,000-strong crowd at the Citrus Bowl to witness Orlando host fellow expansion side New York City FC in their first-ever MLS fixture.
Having joined the club earlier this month following a successful trial, St Ledger had to settle for a place on the substitute bench on the afternoon with Middlesbrough loanee Seb Hines preferred, and watched on as his side managed to claim a last-gasp 1-1 draw thanks to some late heroics from captain Kaka.
The Brazilian superstar scored on a deflected free kick in added time to cancel out US international Mix Diskerud’s 76th-minute effort and give Adrian Heath’s side a share of the spoils.
Orlando now travel to Owen Coyle’s Houston Dynamo on the weekend hoping to build on their positive start, in a match in which St Ledger could get the chance to start after fellow centre-back Aurelien Collin was shown a straight red card in the latter stages of the weekend’s clash for a serious foul.
The ex-Leicester City and Boro man won’t be evoking memories of Nesta any time soon when he takes to the pitch, but he should at least be able to prove a competent member of the Florida-based club’s roster moving forward.