Tuesday night's Orlando City Coach's Show with Adrian Heath saw the Lions boss review Saturday night's draw with the Columbus Crew and look forward toward next week's trip to Chicago.
Heath was disappointed in the result against the 10-man Columbus Crew Saturday night. "To say we left a couple of points on the table would be an understatement," Heath stated. "We've thrown two away." He also stated that "Hopefully that doesn't hurt us down the road."
Heath said that the Crew started well and created trouble, but part of that was Orlando City's doing. He said his team defended the box poorly on both goals. On the first goal, Heath noted that 6-foot-4 midfielder Tony Tchani got matched up with Orlando City's 5-foot-8 right back Rafael Ramos, which was an obvious mismatch.
Overall, Heath said that the Lions need to defend better in the box, as that was a cause of both Crew goals. He felt his team got a foothold after the first Crew goal and got them out of their comfort zone. They started pressuring them in the final third. Heath said that it would've been an injustice if they hadn't taken something from the game.
After the game, Columbus head coach Greg Berhalter said that he would love to see these two teams play with 22 players on the field, saying it would be a really good game. He is referencing the fact that both games this season have had players sent off. Heath agreed with that statement.
Orlando City had 14 corners Saturday night, which is something noticed by Heath. He said that they had been working on crowding the goalkeeper, Steve Clark, on set pieces, but that they didn't crowd him as much on Saturday. He said they let Clark off the hook by not getting as many players around him as they should have. He said he likes getting the wide full backs as high as they can and that they created enough chances to win comfortably.
Federico Higuain Substitution
In the 19th minute, following Michael Parkhurst's red card, Columbus' number 10 Federico Higuain was substituted. Heath said he wasn't surprised, because the Crew had done this before. While Higuain is one of the best number 10s in the league, the Crew needed more energy. Heath also stated that when a team is down to 10 men, they need "all hands to the pump."
In the stat dealing with 50-50 balls, Crew were found to have won most of those balls. Heath said that when a team goes down a man, you expect that team to be a bit more desperate for those balls.
Kei Kamara's Goal
The second Crew goal by Kei Kamara was defended poorly according to Heath. Seb Hines moved up toward the ball too early, leaving Luke Boden in the difficult position of defending two players. Heath said you can't leave a dangerous player like Kamara virtually unmarked.
Rivalry with Columbus
After two emotional games against Columbus, Heath was asked if there was now a rivalry between the two teams. "I like Greg Berhalter, their coach," was Heath's immediate response. Heath said they're one of the few teams in the league with an identity and they cause problems because of their possession and the way they play, which is similar to Orlando City. Because Columbus is so good, Heath quipped "I'd prefer a rivalry with somebody else."
Pedro Ribeiro's Return
Pedro Ribeiro returned to action as a substitute Saturday night, netting the equalizing goal. Heath said he's worked really hard to get himself "fit and well." He said the Brazilian has been working with Kaká's personal fitness coach to get back and has looked "sharp as a tack." Heath said Ribeiro looked dangerous Saturday night and "could've won the game for us."
Heath was very defensive of Carlos Rivas, who has taken quite a bit of criticism after struggling Saturday night. He said he was better and fitter than he had seen previously after Rivas suffered from some nagging injuries. He felt that Rivas was more of a threat.
As for the criticism, Heath said that it's easy for people to criticize the 20-year-old, but he's living in a new country, speaking a new language, and living a new way of life which is difficult. He told supporters to give him time as he has a great future and has great quality.
Heath also took the time to condemn Orlando City fans stating that they shouldn't be criticizing the players.
Sepp Blatter's Resignation
Earlier on Tuesday, FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced that he'd be resigning his post just four days after being re-elected. Heath called it a "great day for the game" and said that hopefully the right person will take over for Blatter. He praised the fact that several FIFA officials have been brought to justice and stated that he felt that the decision to give Qatar the 2022 FIFA World Cup was the "straw that broke the camel's back." He said he didn't mind the decision to give Russia the 2018 World Cup but that Qatar has no history of the game.
Future World Cup Hosts
Heath said that he felt Australia would be a good host for a future World Cup. He said that he believes Russia will keep the tournament in 2018 because they have history with the sport but that Qatar might not because they don't have much history with the sport. He also said that the United States could "handle it in a minute."
On Friday, Orlando City owner Flavio Augusto da Silva announced that the club would be rejecting all public funds and would finance the entirety of the new soccer-specific stadium themselves. After Adrian corrected host Tom Traxler who called it "the stadium" by stating "our home," Orlando City Vice President of Communications Lenny Santiago took over. Santiago stated that no public money would be used, referencing the team's average attendance of over 30,000 a game, which is second behind the Seattle Sounders. He said now they can "build a proper stadium, a proper home." With the club owning the stadium, they can now provide the amenities and technology to create a better experience for fans. The stadium will now also provide property taxes for the city which can go to fund other programs.
Heath chimed in by saying that stadiums can be as iconic as the teams they hosts citing Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, and Boston Garden. He said this is one of the best things that has ever happened to Orlando City.
When asked what changes Heath would like to see from the Citrus Bowl, he had a few ideas. Heath said he'd like to see tailor-made locker rooms and two or three more locker rooms, so Orlando City's wouldn't be used for other events. He'd like to see better coach's offices and staff offices, as well as a players lounge.
Something that Heath was adamant about was honoring past players that helped the club reach MLS. He said he'd like to see photos of ex-players like Miguel Gallardo, Rob Valentino, and Jamie Watson somewhere because they played a huge part in the team and they need a little piece of the stadium.
Comparison with Promoted English Teams
Heath was asked by an AFC Bournemouth fan how Orlando City would compare with the newly promoted English clubs Bournemouth, Watford, and Norwich City. Heath agreed with new Houston Dynamo coach, Owen Coyle, who said that MLS teams could compete in the Football League Championship, England's second division. But Heath said that MLS clubs were not yet ready to compete in the Premier League due to the lack of squad depth.
How Strong Can MLS Get?
Heath said that within 10 years, he believes that MLS will be the third or fourth biggest league in the world. His reason was that people want to live in this country. He said that even before he came to America to coach, he'd thought about how he'd love to live in this country. Since the club's been in MLS, Heath said he's had several players tell him they'd love to play in Orlando. However, he reiterated that the club has to make sure they are getting players who want to come for the right reasons.
Kaká had another memorable celebration Saturday night following his penalty as we climbed the capo stand to celebrate with fans. Heath said he's fine with Kaká's celebration but it depends on who is doing the celebrating. If a player who goes in for hard tackles, like Aurélien Collin, takes his shirt off and gets cautioned, he wouldn't like that because he has a greater chance of being sent off later on.
Goal Line Technology
There was a close play Saturday night where Columbus goalkeeper Steve Clark caught the ball on the goal line. Heath said that he would like to see goal line technology (which has been instituted in several countries) and potentially replay at the 18-yard box. However, he said that he does not want any replay between the boxes.
Orlando City Soccercast
Last season, Heath made a weekly appearance on Orlando City SoccerCast with Tom Vann and Dennis Daniels, but this year he has yet to appear. Heath said he has not been asked yet and jokingly said he thought he'd been banned for something he said, but he hopes to be on soon.
Heath was asked about young players like Harrison Heath, Tommy Redding, and Conor Donovan, and when they could see playing time. Heath said that the younger Heath is the closest, stating the Redding has had a rough start with injuries but that their time would come.
Status of Aurélien Collin
Heath said that Aurélien Collin is fit and well after sustaining an injury on May 13 at D.C. United. Heath said that he has to make sure that players believe if they get in the team, they have a chance to stay in the team. Sean St. Ledger and Seb Hines, who have filled in for Collin, have done well in his absence. Heath said by easing him back in, they don't have to push Collin. He also said he owes it to other players who have played well to allow them to stay in the team.
Heath once again stated that he believes they can make the playoffs. "Have we had a game where we haven't been the better team, [other than the Toronto FC game]?" Heath asked. "I don't think we have." He also stated that once in the playoffs, he doesn't think the other teams will look forward to playing them.
Jim Philips Question of the Week
For the weekly "Jim Philips Question of the Week", the radio host asked if offside calls tell a coach anything about his players. Heath said that they have to work with players staying onside. He singled out striker Cyle Larin, who Heath said takes a five second rest before getting back onside.
Previewing the Chicago Fire
On Saturday, the Lions will take on the Chicago Fire. Heath said that Orlando City assistant coach Mark Watson worked with Fire head coach Frank Yallop with the San Jose Earthquakes, and the two are quite close. He noted that the Fire have had a "revamp" of their team, overhauling the squad. He said they've brought pace into the team by adding David Accum and Kennedy Igboananike.
However, Shaun Maloney will be on international duty, which Heath said will help the Lions. Heath stated that this will be a critical game for the team, as both teams are looking for the final few playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. Saturday night's game will be played at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois at 8:30 p.m.