Our City is a weekly column focused on my perspective of Orlando City as a supporter. I would love to incorporate your ideas and stories, if you have something to add or a story idea please connect by commenting here or on Twitter: @kevinmercer225
Well that was the loss that the Orlando faithful have been fearing for awhile. Not sure any of us expected it to come against the one win Columbus Crew.
While I'm sure Columbus felt a bit cold last night for our Lions, it felt even colder for young defender Rafel Ramos. After a blunder of a play to set up the first Columbus goal, he let his frustration get the best of him.
Following the restart, Ramos overcompensated for his mistake by attempting to do it all in the final third. After losing the ball, Ramos experienced a rush of blood to the head, and committed a very late tackle on Crew defender Waylon Francis, Ramos earned his walking papers.
Probably not in itself a red card tackle, but with the ball nowhere near Francis, the intent was malicious, leaving Ricardo Salazar little to no choice but to bring out the red. Incidentally, the red card for Ramos was the first issued by Salazar this season.
I empathized with Ramos instantly. In my younger playing days I did the exact same thing after a mistake that hurt my team. I overplayed and let my emotions get the best of me. Maturity and mentorship taught me about composure and how to keep cool when your emotions get the best of you.
On one level you like to see a player like Ramos play with that much heart and emotion. You can't teach those things, you either have them or you don't. On the flip side, when those emotions become unbottled like they did for Ramos last night and you hurt your team, you aren't helping the cause.
That's why the most important moment of last night's game was the interaction between the foul and Ramos receiving his walking orders. While Columbus Crew players were ganging up on the referee, Orlando City captain and talisman Kaká took Ramos under his arm and talked to the youngster. As reported, these two have struck up a friendship -- a relationship that will no doubt pay dividends for Orlando City in the long run.
In the short term, Ramos and Orlando City will be looking to Kaká's leadership to get the season back on course after a rough away loss. Ramos has been a revelation so far this season with consistent and gutty performances. He is thriving under coach Adrian Heath's style of play, featuring active involvement of the wing backs in the offense. He and fellow back Brek Shea have both been critical to Orlando's early season form.
Last night taught us that both Ramos and Orlando City are young works in progress. Like the purple clad club he plays for, Ramos has the talent and passion to do extremely well this season, it's just a matter of learning some patience and continuing to polish a rough, unfinished project.
Sharing the field and locker room with veterans like Aurélien Collin, Donovan Ricketts, and Kaká means Ramos is going to be just fine. He will take this as a learning experience, be better for it, and continue to improve; just like his club. #GoCity