Yes, we're playing away tonight. Yes, we're playing Supporter's Shield contender, FC Dallas. Yes, we're 1-3-2 (W-L-D) when playing away. Yes, it's very likely to end in a draw, as so many other Orlando City games. But what if we win? Let's look at three reasons to keep hope alive.
Bendik vs. FC Dallas Keepers
We're all very aware of what a revelation Joe Bendik has been this season for Orlando City. FC Dallas has fielded two keepers this season. Chris Seitz and Homegrown Player Jesse Gonzalez. How does Bendik stack up against the competition.
|FC Dallas Combined||18||18||1620||72||48||24||1.54||2/3||62.15|
Joe has started in all 15 of Orlando City's games. In that time he has 51 saves, which is good enough to tie him for sixth among MLS keepers. FC Dallas has played three more games than Orlando City so far this season. Despite that, Dallas goalkeepers have three fewer saves this season. Additionally, Joe has faced four more shots in garnering those saves. He has more saves in fewer games against more shots, and that is certainly cause for hope.
Orlando City has scored 28 goals this season, and allowed 25 goals for a +3 goal differential. That's tied for third best in MLS. FC Dallas has scored 26 goals this season, and allowed 24 goals for a +2 goal differential. That is tied for 10th in MLS. With only a two-goal difference, those stats look very similar, however, FC Dallas has played three more games. That means Orlando City is scoring 1.87 goals per game. FC Dallas is only scoring 1.44 goals per game. Scoring more goals, and making more saves is cause for hope.
The Fourth of July
This is the second season in a row that Orlando City is playing on Independence Day. Last season, Orlando City traveled to Real Salt Lake and came away with one point in a 1-1 draw. In that game, Kaká scored in the fifth minute and Orlando City conceded in the 28th minute. There was still plenty of time left, but Kaká was sent off with a red card and Orlando spent the rest of the night defending. The team now has a whole season under its belt, and Kaká is not likely to get another red card on the Fourth of July. There's every reason to believe that the team has a better chance this year, and the only way the Lions can improve on a draw is to get the win. Have hope.
There you have it: three reasons that Orlando City can bring home three points. If all else fails, perhaps we can get some help from Eddie...