It's back! The widely popular and occasionally completed Orlando City simulations are here for week four's match-up with the Montreal Impact. Now that EA Sports has finally included the team on FIFA 15, I can use the actual rosters and ratings to more accurately predict the outcome of the game. I think.
Before the game started, I had to adjust the lineup for all of the international call-ups, so I kind of went on the recommendation of the Orlando Sentinel's Paul Tenorio and made the following adjustments.
Orlando's starting 11 for the game:
G: Ricketts; D- Hines, Collin, St. Ledger, Boden; M- Okugo, Heath, Avila, Ribeiro, Kaká ; F- Rochéz
Orlando debuted their away whites for this one and as soon as the ball was kicked off, things got weird. Bryan Rochéz passed the ball back to Sean St. Ledger and he immediately decided that he wanted to try and play striker. So the center back began to take the ball all the way up field, before he was stripped by Montreal's Dominic Oduro.
Over the next few minutes, Orlando's possession was plagued by midfield giveaways (sounds familiar, huh?). The Impact had plenty of chances from those giveaways, but luckily, the back line held (somewhat) firm and was able to keep the Impact at bay.
In the 12th minute, Kaká, who played in the left midfield role, made a good run down the left side, before passing it off to Harrison Heath. Heath then got it to Pedro Ribeiro, who proceeded to dribble into the box, then dribble out, then back in, and finally gave the ball away when trying to go back out again. (Like I said, it was a really weird game.)
There was even a point in the 23rd minute where Impact midfielder Calum Mallace got the ball into the attacking third, took it to the wing and did a spin move, dribbling the ball out of bounds. Then, on the ensuing throw-in, Amobi Okugo threw the ball in to Seb Hines, who in turn, knocked the ball right back out of bounds.
There wasn't really a good chance for either team until the 29th minute, when Ribeiro took the ball to the wing and put a nice cross into the box. Rochéz was able to get a head on it, but put his shot just above the bar. The rest of the half was pretty much just played in the midfield, with lots of giveaways from both teams. Montreal ended the half with more possession, but only by a little bit.
The first five minutes of the second half were just as crazy as the first. In a sequence that included three missed clearances, three crosses and two balls that ran across the face of goal, somehow Orlando got a goal kick out of the entire ordeal. After that, Adrian Heath went to the bench and subbed in Tony Cascio for Eric Avila.
Since Orlando only had one shot on goal, Heath went to his bench again just a few minutes later, this time going to veteran striker Danny Mwanga to replace Rochéz. Patrice Bernier also came in for Montreal for Mallace.
Just six minutes after being subbed on, which isn't much in FIFA time, Mwanga had a perfect opportunity to score. After getting a pass from Okugo in the midfield, the Congolese striker took a rip from just outside the 18-yard box. Unfortunately, Impact keeper Evan Bush was able to make a fantastic save and Montreal was able to clear the danger.
After many, many, many more midfield giveaways, Adrian Heath made a surprising move for his final substitute. Carlos Rivas was brought on to play left mid and Kaka was subbed out of the game with only 15 minutes left to play. Even in video game form, the Brazilian did not look happy having to come off the field.
The last, and by far best, chance of the game for Orlando came in the 82nd minute. Harrison Heath was able to intercept the ball in the midfield and take it all the way into the Impact's penalty area. After beating a defender, Heath smashed a shot just wide, missing the net by inches. After that, more midfield giveaways and the game ended in a 0-0 draw.
So, all in all, a familiar story. Orlando City ended up with three shots on goal, but only one on target. There was good buildup play, but nothing ever really came of it. Let's hope that this simulation does not come to fruition today. If it does, it will not be fun to watch.