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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Kaka open to extending Orlando City contract past 2017

Kaka
Kaka's contract at Orlando City expires after the 2017 season.

Orlando City star Kaka says he is open to extending his contract beyond next season.

The Brazilian signed a three-year contract with the Lions when they joined MLS before the 2015 season, but they will miss the playoffs for the second straight year.

Orlando will open its new Camping World Stadium next season, and Kaka told reporters he could see himself playing there beyond the end of his current deal.

"Let's think about next year and we will see after that what I can do," the 34-year-old said, according to MLSsoccer.com. "Next year is so important for this club, with this stadium, so it's important for the players and the supporters to feel that it is our home. I know they feel that here [at the new stadium], but when the thing is yours, it is different to when you rent something.

"I am happy to be part of this and to be here one more year. And we will see if I can play for more than the one [more year]."

Orlando City coach Jason Kreis said he believes Kaka will not want to leave the club until he experiences the playoffs.

"Ricky remains an extremely hungry player," Kreis said. "I've spoken to him and I know that for a fact, and that he would never want to finish his career by being part of a team that would miss the playoffs.

"That would be a big objective of his, as it will for every member of the group next year. ... We need to begin to represent ourselves and give the fans what they deserve here."

Philadelphia wasn't able to get the job done at home, putting their playoff hopes in a tense spot after losing to Orlando.

But to finish in the top six in the Eastern Conference and qualify for the postseason, Kaka says Orlando needs to alter its "mentality."

"The most important thing we need to change for next season is our mentality," he said. "We need to have a winning mentality and this will change a lot of things. It is different when I just want to win and I can sacrifice something for winning.

"So this is what I expect for the next season, for the players, for the staff, that we really want to sacrifice something [to reach] our targets.

"In my opinion, the club needs to set some targets for the team, and the coach needs to put some goals and some inside competition. I think it's fair, and when it is fair competition it is very good for everybody, to put some pressure on us.

"This is something we need to improve, to get better for the next season, and challenge us to do better."

Kaka was limited by injuries during the first half of the season before recovering to start the past 13 games, but Orlando were eliminated from playoff contention two weeks ago, and the forward is hoping for more consistency in 2017.

"Unfortunately this season I had a few injuries, small injuries, but they took me out of some games," he said. "It is part of the game and it is something I can't control, but next season I will try to get better, physically.

"Next season we have to get to the playoffs, because to stay out and be watching the other teams playing, it is very hard for me."

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