The struggle continued for Orlando City this week, dropping an 0-3 result to New England, effectively dropping out of the playoff chase and firmly cementing the worst goal differential in the league.
Frustration is understandable. Hell, it's easy. But, believe it or not, there are positives aplenty for Inchy's boys, who put forth a solid effort given the circumstances of the evening.
Tally Hall - Seriously, Tally has been absolutely fantastic. I don't know enough four letter adjectives to do the man justice -- and I use the word "man" loosely in this instance. If The Mane Land broke the news tomorrow that Tally is actually an extraterrestrial being from the planet Stahp that has been genetically bred to keep as many objects from passing him as possible, I would shrug my shoulders and move on with my day with the same nonchalance as if I'd just read that the sun will be setting in the west this evening.
This is not hyperbole. With injuries, suspensions,
party binges missed flights and transfers, the back four has been a relative revolving door, and Hall has remained a highlight waiting to happen between the posts.
I'm not kidding. I mean, what is this? Insane reactions with even better agility, it's tough to even call this human.
The result was bad, but the fact we're raving about Tally in a 3-0 loss should tell you everything you need to know about his performance.
David Mateos - I had been waiting on a performance like this from David. Firm defensively with an outlandish 14 clearances, his passing was an inspiration from the back. He was 93.4% on 61 passes, including 14/15 from long range. On a night with a lot of talent missing from the pitch, Mateos raised his level of play to the occasion and deserves his recognition for a good night's work.
Lewis Neal - A lot was asked of Lewis in this one, playing in Kaká's spot when his style of play is wildly different from the captain's. He was his usual, quiet self, but an 84% passing clip with no key passes isn't going to cut it when you're filing in for the man with the armband.
There was no devastating mistake or cursing his name at the television, but that's not good enough given the shoes he needed to fill.
Servando Carrasco - Tough night for Servy, pairing tough fouls with worse turnovers for a big batch of "ugh." He wasn't a sieve defensively, but he was no stalwart either. When your DMs struggled to contribute to any offensive rhythm, you hope for them to stand out on defense, and three clearances with one tackle isn't enough on a night when the midfield was already severely shorthanded.
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All in all, there were definitive positives to be found in a tough match against an even tougher opponent. Orlando looks to finish strong down the stretch, with Aurélien Collin's former club Sporting Kansas City next on the docket.