Over the past week there has been some uncertainty circling Orlando City. Last week on Sunday Statistical Showdown, we talked about what the absence of Adrian Winter will look like. Starting on Monday, Brek Shea got to move up into the attack to add the type of wing play that Adrian Winter offered.
But, this was not the only uncertainty that has hit OCSC this past week as Adrian Heath was also let go. Losing a player who was quickly becoming a fan favorite, as well as the man who has coached this team since it moved to Orlando, has been a hard pill to swallow for many fans of this club. Yet, in the evolving realm of Major League sports, these types of weeks will happen and surely in the future something similar will creep around the corner.
However, this week -- even with all of the issues currently hitting Orlando City SC -- we want to look at the run of form so far for Orlando compared to 2015 through week 17 as this is the half way point of the season.
Orlando entered Saturday sitting in sixth place and, yes, in the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Compared to last year, Orlando is currently behind its 2015 points pace through 17 matches of the season. In 2015, Orlando was averaging 1.35 points per game and sat on 23 points through the first half of the season, compared to 2016, in which the Lions are currently averaging 1.24 points per game and have 21 total points so far. Also in 2015, they had six wins and five draws with six losses, and in 2016 they have four wins, nine draws and four losses.
In comparison, Orlando has been really good at not losing so far in 2016, but the Lions have also been really bad at winning as well. The positives that usually come with being unbeaten at home halfway through a season have not really applied to Orlando, as the team seemingly draws every match -- currently leading the league with nine draws on the season. In 2015, Colorado led MLS in draws with 10 and Orlando is ready to set that mark with 17 matches to play.
This does not speak well for the team's prospects in 2016 when you consider the club is also going through a coaching and perhaps philosophy transition. Also, consider the road ahead will be tough, as Orlando will have to play mostly on the road in the latter half of the season, with 10 of the final 17 matches away from home, where the Lions have only earned five points from seven matches so far.
Now, there are some positives, as Orlando does have the ability to play at a high level. Even after drawing the Dynamo at home and being soundly beaten by FC Dallas this past week, Orlando still has a talented club and many still believe that the train has a chance to get back on track. After all, a modest winning streak would catapult virtually any club to the top of the closely packed Eastern Conference.