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Orlando City Has Learned How to Grind Out Results in 2016

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Where they struggled find points in close games last season, the Lions are grinding out results this year.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City isn't getting as many points as fans would like to see, but at least the Lions making games exciting at the end, right?

There are certainly some positives to take away from the Lions' form this season. The club is sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 10 points through its first eight games -- with just two losses to their record, too.

So far this season, Orlando City proved to be one thing if nothing else: a resilient bunch that can fight until the final whistle.

On the road, down a goal, playing without Kaká, Orlando City easily could have accepted its fate heading into the final minutes, but it didn't and it was able to find a goal from Carlos Rivas -- his first ever in MLS, by the way -- to salvage a point in a game it played poor enough to lose at times.

A year can make a big difference in sports, and for Orlando City that has certainly proven to be the case.

This team is a year older and wiser than its inexperienced expansion counterpart. The games we're seeing are not what we would have been getting from 2015's Orlando City. To be able to fight back and grab late points like we've seen a few times already this year is the sign of a team more composed and calm under pressure.

"Overall, would I have accepted a point before the game? You bet I would," Head Coach Adrian Heath said after the match. "I think this is one of the most difficult places in MLS to come and play, so for us to go away with a point after the last two or three weeks, I'm delighted."

Even if you don't see it as much, it's certainly a step forward for a young club desperate to make the playoffs in such a tight Eastern Conference race. Credit to Heath for pushing his players, and credit to the players for pushing themselves.

Orlando City lost a lot of close games last season, which had a lot to do with the team missing out on the playoffs. And this season, we're seeing the Lions competing in those close matches now and be able to grind out points -- see: Real Salt Lake, and New England twice this season.

Again, maybe it means nothing to you, but Orlando City is pulling out points in games it easily could have lost, and that's an important thing to be able to do once we get into the latter half of the season.