Saturday night's tie against San Jose has left Orlando City with a league-high eight draws so far this season. In taking a look at those ties, what were some of the statistical factors involved, and how much of an impact did they have on the results?
Most of the time, we fans feel that having the better time of possession in a game will end up in more scoring opportunities, more goals, and better results. In taking a look at the Lions' eight draws, we can see that Orlando City had the better time of possession in five of the games. One of those games was the opener, and Orlando City won time of possession in that game 52.7% to 47.3%. Despite that, Orlando City needed unbelievable goals in the 94th and 95th minutes to tie it up. It doesn't seem that time of possession has made much of an impact either way. For comparison, Orlando City had the lesser time of possession in two of of the three losses. However, the Lions also had less time of possession in each of the three wins this season. So much for time of possession.
Fouls create opportunities with restarts, set pieces, and penalty kicks. Orlando City committed more fouls than they suffered in six of those eight games drawn. In three of those six, Orlando had to come from behind to tie, and in three the team was ahead before conceding a goal (and the two points). In the two games where Orlando suffered more fouls than it committed, the Lions were ahead and conceded the tying goal. For comparison, the Lions committed more fouls than suffered in only one of the three wins. Additionally, they either committed the same number or fewer fouls than their opponent in the three losses. Fouls don't seem to be much of a factor either.
In five of the eight draws, there were seven goals scored during second half stoppage time. Despite the heartbreaker that was Saturday's night's extra, extra time goal, Orlando City has benefited more than not in these situations...barely. In three of those games, Orlando City was able to score in stoppage time to salvage a point. That means that the Lions gained three points. But in the two games where City conceded stoppage time goals for a draw, the team gave up four points.
So, while Orlando City came from behind to even the score more often than not in injury time, it still means the club lost more points than it gained. This is very important, given that there have been no stoppage time goals in any of Orlando City's wins or losses. It's only one point so far, but if City were to have similar results in the last 20 games, it would lose another point or two by season's end. Making or missing the playoffs might hinge on two or three points.
I think we can all agree that Orlando City needs to do a better job in securing three points, rather than settling for one. There are 20 games left, and the Lions will have to continue to make those come-from-behind ties, while doing a better job on defending when they have the lead. It's not a lack of goals, since Orlando City is tied for second in MLS with 25 on the season.
Hopefully, Head Coach Adrian Heath can find the answer. Vamos Orlando!