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Orlando City Offseason Shortcoming Evident in Season Opener

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Orlando City's failure during this past off-season to sign a proven striker was evident in Sunday's season opener.

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Going into this past off-season, there were some obvious needs that Orlando City should have filled. One of those was to bring in a veteran striker with a proven goal-scoring record. The club's failure to acquire the services of one of these players was evident on Sunday.

For those that haven't seen Orlando City play, a look at the 2015 standings would indicate that they are a rather mediocre team. But that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, the Lions dominated many of their games last season. Unfortunately, whether it was first touch, lack of service, or, more often, a lack of finishing, the Lions often failed to pull three points from those contests. Last season it was a major reason why they didn't qualify for the postseason.

On Sunday, that lack of finishing haunted Orlando City again against Real Salt Lake. The Lions dominated large parts of the game and had much better -- and many more -- chances than their opponents. Twice midfielder Brek Shea was within 10 yards of goal but couldn't manage to get the ball on target. Striker Cyle Larin had several opportunities throughout the day, including a one-on-one with RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando that he failed to capitalize on.

Some will look back to Larin's apparent goal in the eighth minute, which was apparently erroneously called offside. But, while that may have been a bit of bad luck, there were several other opportunities where the young striker or his teammates simply missed the target.

The question has to be asked, why didn't Orlando City go out and find that striker that has a knack for finding the back of the net in key situations? Sure, Larin had a great rookie season, scoring 17 goals and setting the MLS rookie mark. But his lack of finishing was a problem for the team last year in games where they should've taken home all three points and didn't.

To their credit, the club did attempt to sign Mexican superstar Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, who spurned the club to sign for Bayer Leverkusen in Germany's Bundesliga, where he has become a star, scoring goals on a regular basis. But other than their attempt to sign a player that was very unlikely to come to the United States, as he was still coveted in Europe, the club has seemed to be content with Larin and fellow youngster Bryan Róchez.

For Orlando City fans, Sunday's game must have looked eerily reminiscent of several games last year, where the team failed to convert on several opportunities and ended up with only one point if anything at all. While circumstances dictate that a draw was a satisfactory result, given that they were mere seconds from a loss, they should've claimed all three points. Hopefully this year those missed opportunities won't keep them out of the playoffs as they did a year ago.