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
I really hoped all of this would feel better in the morning.
Two days out from our second
heartbreaking devastating stoppage time loss at home and I haven't found any perspective that makes it feel any better. And I'm usually the optimistic one.
I'd love to get philosophical about it. I'd love to continue to build that narrative that these games in which we dominate and don't win are building towards something bigger. There were 87 minutes of positives to take away Friday night, but the crowd walking away from the Citrus Bowl wasn't thinking much about those. The long shocked faces were only wondering how we managed to lose another game we controlled from start to almost the finish.
It was all a bit like this iconic scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. We were the swordsman, an impressive display of flash and skill, only to be gunned down in the end by the gritty veteran of these kinds of fights, Indiana Jones.
The Vancouver Whitecaps and D.C. United are both established, veteran teams that know how to grind out wins in a long MLS season. None of the United blogs this weekend have shown any real concern that they got outplayed and probably should have lost. None of the traveling fans partied into the Florida night with great concerns over the fact they didn't play all that well. They know how this works -- do whatever it takes to win, grab the three points and move on.
MLS is a tough league. From top to bottom, I'd argue it might be one of the most competitive leagues in the world. The good teams know that every game will be a fight and you have to walk out with the points you've earned.
The Lions have been in every game they've played so far. They have been increasingly better each game. The international break was but a wrench in the bonding needed to forge a team out of all our various parts. We all know this team has a lot more to show as the season wears on, and none of us are giving up on them. But Orlando expects. We expect to win. Every time out. Every game.
Is it fair that an expansion club's supporters expect wins? Probably not. Is it fair that we expect to make the playoffs in our first season? Not in the slightest. But we do. I'm sure there is a fan in Toronto who thinks we should probably calm down, temper our expectations, and just enjoy the season. Be happy we're in the league, be happy we are competitive, and don't expect too much more.
Orlando City has never been about that. We're the run-the-table-and-win-the-USL, dominate-every-season, fill-the-bowl, and defy-expectations crowd. We're the support-our-club-passionately-and-force-MLS-to-award-us-a-team-when-we-weren't-even-in-contention kind of crowd. We are the soccer capital of the South because we told you we were. We expect because Phil Rawlins, Adrian Heath, and Kaká have given us every reason to.
Right now, we expect to win. Orlando expects. Go City.