The current state of Orlando City seems to be in flux -- there have been changes in the front office, coaching staff and even big name players such as Tally Hall have been on the chopping block. These changes may look a bit different for a club that prides itself on building an organization that resembles a family rather than a pure business, but there is evidence that changes needed to take place.
So far, we have looked at the defensive third of the field by position as well as the defensive midfield for the Orlando organization. We have seen strengths and weaknesses, notably the story so far is that Orlando has some very good young players at key positions. However, outside of the comparisons in the defensive midfield, Orlando did not separate itself in a multitude of categories over the league average players for those positions.
Today The Mane Land is diving into some overall team statistics that can tell part of the story when compared to the league average team around MLS. The league average team, as in other statistical showdown pieces, will be represented by all current MLS teams. The metrics that we will be looking at include both offensive and defensive measures so that we can more accurately talk to the specific points where OCSC can improve in the off-season.
Starting off the statistical showdown this week will be the offensive side of the ball. On this side of the ball we wanted to isolate chances created by looking at shots per 90 minutes (SHTS90), shots on goal per 90 (SOG90) and corners per 90 (CRNS90). These three stats can tell part of the story when it comes to why Orlando -- when compared to the league average team -- was found lacking at putting the ball in the back of the net. Orlando had 46 goals on the season and the league average MLS team had 47.
Unfortunately, the story here is not in Orlando's favor. Not only do they put fewer shots on frame (SOG90) per 90 minutes than the average team, but they also attempted fewer total shots as well. Another downside is that with the wide style that Orlando employs the Lions have not been able to see dividends from a corners per 90 minutes perspective. Most would hypothesize that with the type of formation and play that Adrian Heath likes for his team to make use of that these offensive stats should be higher than they are.
To work out a diagnosis for the issues that OCSC has in these stats one needs only to have a conversation about how the jump to MLS and rigors of the league may have been a bit unexpected for the first time MLS head coach, or how the lack of depth across the field mitigated the offensive potential of the Lions. Maybe the lack of true goal scorers until Cyle Larin's emergence played a role. There are many reasons why Orlando did not live up to the type of offensive potential that may have been expected. Perhaps in 2016 these discrepancies will switch.
After looking into the offensive side of the ball we will move into the defensive overall measures. After spending the past few weeks diving into these specific positions for Orlando we did not want to rehash an entire conversation so this will be quick and light, looking at just fouls committed per 90 (FC90), fouls suffered per 90 (FS90) and offsides allowed per 90 (OFF90).
Again, as previously, we looked at the overall team defensive measures, found here. The conversation has turned to looking at just a few of the telling metrics. Overall team discipline and timely intervention is the name of the game in this story and Orlando looks to be on a good heading for the future. We all know the issues that Orlando had in the past season with cards, especially the red kind, but those are enigmas in the game of football and are not usually indicative of a team and its overall play.
What we can tell you though is that although Orlando commits more fouls than the league average team, the Lions also suffer more as well, and at a higher rate. This can lead to more possession for the Lions while also leading to more dangerous chances in the final third. The offside look was something that we wanted to point out as Orlando has shown to play a high back line. This stat tells the success of that, even though it is compared across the board and not at teams who also employ high lines.
Overall, even with the current state of flux that OCSC seems to be in and the struggles that have been pointed out on the offensive side of the ball, Orlando City has the chance to improve upon its inaugural season in MLS and even small improvements can lead to a jump in points and into the playoffs.