On Sunday night Orlando City dropped its third straight home game, falling 2-0 to Toronto FC. The result once again highlights the Lions' deficiencies on offense. In the club's four home games thus far, they've only managed to find the net once during their opener against New York City FC. But that goal was due to a deflection.
Adrian Heath, for his part, has shuffled his lineup in an attempt to find a solution to the goal drought. The Lions have lined up three different strikers in two different formations but have failed to find the back of the net at the Citrus Bowl.
Sunday night, Orlando City was expected to break its home scoring drought against a Toronto side that had conceded 11 goals in their first five games. The only game in which the Reds held the opponent to less than two goals was their opening match-up against the Vancouver Whitecaps. That also happened to be the club's only win until their trip to Orlando.
One of the major reasons for the lack of scoring is effort in front of goal. Sunday night saw multiple crosses into the box that failed to find a head or foot in purple. That fault lies on the striker, who must throw himself into the path of the ball rather than looking for a small touch. The Lions had a few crosses throughout the game, especially from Brek Shea on the left side, which deserved to find someone on the end but came up empty.
Two weeks ago this problem seemed to be solved when Cyle Larin threw his himself in front of goal and chested the ball in for his first career goal. While not the prettiest of finishes, it displayed what a striker can achieve when he puts himself in the right place. However, that aggressiveness has disappeared, as Larin has regressed back to looking to touch the ball past the goalkeeper rather than putting his body in front of the cross.
With two weeks before the next league game, Heath can be expected to make some changes in an attempt to fix Orlando City's biggest problem. While the club is known to be on the lookout for another striker to add to the squad, another change might be one in formation.
While Heath claims that over the past two games he's played a 4-3-3, only one of those top three is a striker. The other two, Kaká and Kevin Molino, are actually midfielders and still have midfield responsibilities. Heath might be expected to add another striker up top in two weeks against the New England Revolution.
Adding that second striker might relieve pressure on Larin. As the lone striker, Larin often finds himself alone in the six yard box to receive a cross with midfielders behind. Adding a second striker might give Larin the confidence to attack the ball rather than sitting back with the faith that if he doesn't connect, his striking partner might.
Eight games into their inaugural MLS season, Orlando City's biggest problem has been finishing in the final third, especially at home. While the Lions have converted five times in four road games, they've only scored once at home. With a bye next weekend, Heath and company must use the extra time off to find a solution to their offensive deficiency.