Three games, five points, third place in the Eastern Conference.
We're three weeks into Orlando City's second season in MLS, as the Lions enjoy their first bye-week of the 2016 campaign. It's easy to ask for more, but the Lions have gotten results in each of their first three games, marking a solid start to the new season -- especially considering they should have certainly lost against Real Salt Lake.
It's still pretty early, and the sample sizes aren't big enough to start drawing any conclusions, but we have learned some things about Orlando City to this point.
Here they are:
We're Still Waiting On USL Kevin Molino To Show Up
A fellow SB Nation writer asked us a pretty simple question the other day: is Kevin Molino actually good?
Well, yeah, he's good, and it's a shame that us down here in Orlando have to keep backing him up when he's yet to score a goal in MLS, and making himself look silly like he did against New York City FC, whiffing at the opportunity to pull an empty-net goal.
While it's completely fair to say Molino has not met expectations Orlando City fans -- we're guilty, too -- have set for him. Molino is a good player, he's got plenty of talent, but he's only played 11 MLS games, you have to remember. He only played in eight last year before tearing his ACL in May, and we're only three games into 2016, where the game against Chicago two weeks ago was his first time seeing 90 minutes in a match since April 12 in Portland -- almost 11 months ago. So, it's nearly impossible to start making any judgements on the guy.
He looked great playing alongside Kaká last year, but Kaká has missed Orlando City's first three games. So there's that factor to it, as well.
Confidence is his biggest issue and he's going to get that at some point. When he does, we're going to see the Kevin Molino that got people talking him up so much prior to 2015.
For now, however, we're just waiting.
This Team Is Much Deeper Than Last Year's Squad
One thing a lot of people are giving credit to Adrian Heath and company from this year is that they've built this squad to be much deeper than it was last year, and it also shows with the addition of Orlando City B.
When this team is completely healthy -- which may be never, honestly -- it has a roster that from top to bottom is better than last year's roster. When Kaká eventually gets healthy, you're going to see a lineup that has both Carlos Rivas and Adrian Winter sitting on the bench. Julio Baptista is decent signing for a backup striker. Kevin Alston is much better depth than Tyler Turner, who now has the opportunity to spend the entire season with OCB. Aurelien Collin is this team's third string center back due to the emergence of Tommy Redding, and that's only because David Mateos is hurt.
When everyone is healthy, the Lions have four starting center backs on the roster.
The addition of OCB gives Heath more potential options if he's forced to go that route.
Orlando City's schedule hasn't been too tough yet, but once we get into the summer months when the club has 15 games -- not including Open Cup -- in July, August, and September, the club is going to be much better prepared for that battle this time around.
Everyone Needs To Be Less Selfless, More Selfish
Adrian Heath has talked about this before already, and Daniel McGann talked about this last week: Orlando City needs to be far more selfish in games.
We saw it a lot last season, and it's a problem that has creeped over into 2016. This team often tried too hard in the final third of the pitch to make that extra, unnecessary pass instead of shooting the ball and going straight for the goal.
I get that maybe last year this team was very young and inexperienced, and as a young player you tend to overthink things and might not want to be the guy that gets hung up on the mistakes. It's okay, you can take those shots, just because you think you need to pass the ball doesn't always mean you actually have to.
Hot take: MLS defenses are bad -- pretty bad, actually. You don't need to go that extra mile to break that barrier into goal.
So be more aggressive, be more selfish, take the shot.
This much we've learned in the first three games of the season--let's hope Kevin Molino gets over his case of the yips and that a healthy Kaká can revitalize this team's offense.