After suffering another loss during Week 11, and I am not talking about games, the Orlando City squad continues to look a little more threadbare, week by week. Even the most optimistic fans could be forgiven for being worried ahead of today's game against the reigning MLS Cup champions, the LA Galaxy. However, all hope is not lost for two reasons:
One, although Orlando City has not managed to get a win at home this season thus far, it should be noted that the LA Galaxy have yet to win away from home this season. This means that today's game should be an interesting encounter as both teams try to get away from an unwanted blemish on their 2015 season and Orlando City will not have a better opportunity to get their home game winning streak started than in front of an expected rabid crowd of 35,000+ against a side that clearly has confidence issues on the road.
Two, Sean St. Ledger will be getting the start in his preferred position. The English-born Irishman has already had an illustrious career prior to joining the Lions, after playing over 185 games in England. He has also garnered 37 international caps for his adopted country, the Republic of Ireland, including playing at the 2012 European Championships.
Despite this impressive resume, Heath's preferred partnership this season at the heart of the defense has been Aurelien Collin and Seb Hines. However, with Collin out and Hines's injury return still questionable for today's game, now is St. Ledger's time to shine and to help provide a strong back line against a striker of Gyasi Zardes's credentials.
St. Ledger has already made four appearances for the club this season (three starts, one sub), including the midweek loss away to D.C. However, Orlando's problems this season can't be placed at St. Ledger's door. Prior to Collin's injury, the defensive partnership between him and Collin was resolute and was keeping the D.C. forward line fairly quiet. In his other appearances he has displayed quiet consistency and has proven to Head Coach Adrian Heath the type of player that he can be for this team.
We here at The Mane Land have already covered the lack of squad depth available for many of our positions. However, despite watching one of our best players in Aurelien Colin go down injured, knowing that we have a player that has played at the highest level, against some of the best international players in the world, gives me confidence that we can get the W today.
Perhaps with a little luck from the Irish, we can all go to bed happy tonight with a win in our pockets.