Saturday night’s 4-1 loss to the Columbus Crew was arguably Orlando City’s worst loss at home since joining MLS in 2015, but it hasn’t stopped the Lions from thinking positively with just five games left on the schedule as they continue to fight for an elusive playoff berth. After the match, Orlando City Head Coach Jason Kreis insisted that the loss doesn’t add more pressure on his side, and said it actually did the opposite.
"I think the pressure would be immensely high if we had gotten all three points," Kreis said. "I don’t think anything was going to change. This is going to be a tight race all the way until the end. We just want to do everything we can to be a part of that race. Now, going into D.C. United, if we had gotten the three points tonight, we’re probably saying to ourselves a draw here would be good enough, whereas now maybe it won’t be. Now maybe we need to go there to try and pick up all three points."
The Crew were the first team to ever put up four goals against Orlando on their home turf. All around, it was not a performance that Kreis could take a lot of positives away from. With D.C. United drawing against Chicago and New England defeating Montreal, the Lions remained tied on points with DC (34 points through 29 games apiece), but now sit two points behind the Revolution, who leaped back ahead of Orlando and DC for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Lions' final five games are all against Eastern Conference teams, and all are against teams above Orlando City in the standings — including two against DC. Does that put more pressure on Orlando City?
"Not really for us, I think, like I said earlier in the week, every team in MLS is pretty much close skill-wise and anyone can beat anyone," defender Tommy Redding said after the match. "So we’re just taking everything from this game and learning from it and moving on from it."
And Cyle Larin shared the same sentiment.
"I don’t think it’s pressure," he said about their trip to RFK Stadium on Saturday. "We’re still in a good spot and we’re playing DC, and they are in the same spot as us. Clearly, next week will be a big game for us, but we have to go out there and respect [D.C. United] and make sure we don’t give up easy goals."