This season, Orlando City will play a total of 24 games against Eastern Conference opponents. Of those, 12 will be at home and 12 will be away. The team will also play 10 games against Western Conference opponents, with five at home and five away. Let's take a look at the results so far and what is laid out for the remainder of the season.
We've talked about Orlando City's ability to salvage a point in their games (or to not be able to take three points, depending on your perspective). It is very evident in the above chart that most of those draws came against Eastern Conference foes, and just as importantly at home. While we can have a certain sense of pride that the Lions have not dropped a game at home so far this season, having only two wins out of eight home games is not something that should continue. This is the best place for Orlando City to improve its results in the effort to make the playoffs.
Looking forward, Orlando has more games against eastern opponents than western and those are much more important as far as reaching the playoffs. Every point that the Lions can take from an Eastern Conference helps their playoff hopes. However, if Orlando continues to simply draw even at home, the team can't really expect to garner the points necessary to make a playoff run.
So given all of that, let's look ahead to the Lions' final stretch. Fortunately for the Lions, they have twice as many Eastern Conference foes as Western Conference opponents to face the remainder of the season, and they've managed to hold our own. If Orlando City is able to maintain that standard, or hopefully improve on such, well then the club would be in a fair position to go forward.
That's the rosy outlook...but what happens if...? If Kaká loses form, if Larin has an injury, if there are other unexpected injuries or suspensions? Obviously, any or all of these things would impact the season. Orlando City could improve upon its 1.3 points per game against the Western Conference but it absolutely must improve on its 1.2 points-per-game average against the east if it is going to make the playoffs. Can the Lions do that?
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!