Looking forward, hoping for the future and having a feeling of anticipation is something that defines the Orlando City supporter culture. So for this Sunday Statistical Showdown piece The Mane Land will be doing just that: looking forward. After a start to the season that has brought a welcomed five points for Orlando and with a tough road ahead in terms of strength of schedule, we wanted to start looking at the next step needed to continue this good campaign.
Many would argue that even though we currently sit on five points, those are--if not a lucky five points--an upsetting total. Orlando had the opportunity in both of its first two home matches to not only go up a man but be playing teams who had underwhelming 2015 season. While only earning two points from a mostly lackluster performance, Orlando found itself going on the road to NYCFC to land an unexpected first win of the season.
This win we hope can help propel the Lions into the off-week during a mini international window, while coming back home to host the MLS Champion Portland Timbers. There might also be a return of our honorable captain Kaká to the starting XI, a promising return which could lead to the newly minted Nocerino and Kaká combining in the midfield and moving into the attacking third.
So far this year the high level statistics do not tell a wild story between the two teams as they have both played opponents who total 12 points on the season so far. Both Orlando and Portland have faced competition twice at home and once on the road and both teams have faced Real Salt Lake. The matches between RSL for both teams were home and ended in a 2-2 draw, Orlando's in exciting fashion with a last minute Adrian Winter goal to grab the opening day point.
When using mlssoccer.com to look at some high level stats we can see that Orlando and Portland look similar in a few ways while showing tendencies to act differently in the attacking third.
(GP: Games Played, G: Goals, A: Assists, SHT: Shots, SOG: Shots on Goal, SOG%: Shots on Goal Percentage, FC: Fouls Committed, FS: Fouls Suffered, FC-FS: Fouls Called minus Fouls Suffered, OFF: Offsides, CK: Corner Kicks, PKG: Penalty Kick Goals PKA: Penalty Kick Attempts)
Looking at some of the statistical differences from these high level metrics we can see two glaring difference for both teams in the attacking third. First, Portland likes to shoot: the Timbers have unleashed 25 more shots than Orlando on the season. However this leads to the other glaring difference in these clubs: even though Portland lets the shots fly, Orlando likes to pick its moments. This can be seen by the 20 percent difference in SOG% between these clubs in Orlando's favor. An argument made last week on the Sunday Statistical Showdown was that Orlando may be passing a bit too much which has led to a lack of shots overall. These stats seem to contend that very same thought. Although, Orlando and Portland are in a dead heat for shots on goal overall and neither team has scored a large amount of goals, the fact remains that Orlando--while being a team who can hit its target more often--needs to start pulling the trigger more often.
Hopefully Cyle Larin can keep his hot streak going as the Lions try to take all three points from the reigning MLS champs next Sunday night. Stay tuned to The Mane Land throughout the week for updates and previews from all angles.