It's that time once again to see what the people over at EA Sports have to say about Orlando City SC's latest game. I used FIFA 14 once again to help simulate today's match against the Houston Dynamo.
Orlando's starting 11 for the game:
G: Ricketts; D- Ramos, Collin, Hines, Shea; M- Okugo, Cerén, Molino, Kaká, Neal; F- Rochéz.
Once again, Orlando dominated possession early in the game. The Lions really controlled the game through the midfield, but unfortunately, were never really able to get the ball into the final third. Houston, on the other hand, was able to capitalize on their very few chances in the first half.
In the 12th minute, Houston was able to play some nice passes on the left side of the field, which eventually sprung DaMarcus Beasley open on the wing. After playing a nice cross into the box, the ball found the foot of Will Bruin, who was left unmarked. Bruin was able to easily put it into the back of the net, giving the Dynamo a 1-0 lead.
The big takeaway from the goal was the lack of marking from Orlando. Rafael Ramos was beat on the wing by Beasley, Seb Hines was completely lost and failed to mark Bruin in the box and Brek Shea was out of the play entirely.
After the goal, Orlando tried to put in more effort to get forward, but failed to make any headway. The first half ended with Houston still holding the one goal advantage. The only thing Orlando had going for them was their control on the possession. Just like in the game simulation against Charleston, Orlando held a commanding 61%-39% advantage over the Dynamo. Only one shot was taken on goal in the entire half, and that resulted in Houston's goal.
The second half began with Houston playing the possession game and passing around the midfield. After a few minutes of playing the ball around, Will Bruin was able to get into the box with the ball, but Aurelien Collin was able to poke the ball away and give Orlando control once again.
On the counter attack, Orlando was able to play through their Designated Player, Kaká, to push the ball into the attacking third. The Brazilian was able to get it to the right wing over to Kevin Molino, who then played a nice give-and-go with Amobi Okugo. Okugo was able to free himself from the defense and play a nice cross into the box to a waiting Kaká, who headed the ball in with ease, leveling the game at one goal each with 35 minutes to play.
The rest of the game was very much a back and forth affair, with both teams getting good attempts to break the deadlock. Orlando had a good opportunity in the 70th minute, when a combination play between Okugo and Darwin Cerén gave the El Salvador captain an opportunity to get a cross into the box. Molino seemed to come out of nowhere to try and get a head on the ball, but Houston goalie Tyler Deric was able to catch it and Molino ended up in the back of the net.
Both teams made a few subs to try and make a difference, but the game remained tied until the final whistle. The only things to take away from this game would be Orlando's 56%-44% advantage in possession, and the Lions' passing accuracy, which was an astonishing 91% for the game. Other than those fun facts, nothing really popped out from the game.
This will be Orlando's last chance to get a really good run in before March 8, so let's hope they make it count!