Orlando City is tied for the most goals in MLS to this point with 13. This has resulted in two wins, two losses, and three draws. But how have those goal come about? Through seven games, Orlando City has almost tripled the amount of goals scored that the Lions scored through seven games in 2015. Last season, they only had five goals at that point.
Open Play vs. Set Pieces
There have been eight goals scored during open play, and five from set pieces. Last season, three goals came from open play and two from set pieces at this juncture. This year, the distribution on the open play goals has been good, with three coming from the left side of the field, four from the right side and one directly up the center. The open play goals have come from mostly from Cyle Larin, with four goals, and Adrian Winter, who has two. The other contributors have been Brek Shea, Kevin Molino, and Kaká with one apiece. Just as importantly, most of these goals have come on good passing, and working the ball up the field. Only one was from a long ball, though it was a fantastic goal, since it was the second stoppage time goal against Real Salt Lake.
Set piece goals have been varied as well. Two have come from penalty kicks, one from a free kick, one from a corner kick, and one from a long throw-in. Of the five, two have come from or the result of play on the left and three from the right. Both of the penalty kicks were from play on the left, with Kevin Molino and Julio Baptista drawing the penalties. Kaká gave Molino the first of these against Portland, and the captain took the other himself last week against the New England Revolution.
The lone free kick was delivered by Kaká from the right side to Seb Hines for his only goal so far this year. The corner kick was taken by Julio Baptista and it resulted in an own-goal by Karl Ouimette. The throw-in was from the right side, where Kevin Molino may have had a handball, but there was no call, and he got his second goal on the season.
Head, Foot, Thigh?
With the majority of the goals have been put in by the foot. Ten of the 13, including four of the five from set pieces, have not. There have been two headers. The first being the "header ex machina" by Cyle Larin on a cross from Rafael Ramos at New York City FC. The second, was off the aforementioned free kick from Kaká that Hines finished against Portland. The thigh was the own goal by New York Red Bulls. Last season, all the goals to this point were put in off the foot, except Cyle Larin's first-ever goal that he chested in to the net.
What conclusions can we draw from this information? Orlando is certainly scoring more frequently. Larin is on pace to surpass his 17-goal performance of last season, and the Lions are on pace to score a lot more goals than last season as well. Seven players have scored and those goals are coming from all areas of the field. This may be a reflection of the players adjusting to MLS, and to each other, and the greater depth that Orlando City has this season. Hopefully the Lions can keep it up, and rise up the standings as a result.