Things about to get very tough for Orlando City, which is coming off a two-game home slate that saw the Lions lose to Toronto FC and beat New York City FC -- both by 2-1 scores. Orlando City runs into September still very much in the playoff hunt with four of five games this month on the road for difficult games, starting this Wednesday north of the border against the Montreal Impact.
"Obviously very dangerous opponents, and playing at their places is never easy to do in our league," Lions Head Coach Jason Kreis said at training last week. "We will approach it in the mindset that we think we’re in a really good moment.
"Even though we lost to Toronto, there were so many positives to draw from it that, from my point of view, we’re putting together a number of good performances in a row. And if we can turn those good performances into points — and maybe a win — on the road would be fantastic, and I think we can do it."
The trek to Montreal won’t be made easier by the fact that the Lions will be forced to play without two of their top play makers on the attack — Cyle Larin and Kevin Molino, who won’t rejoin the team until later in the week due to World Cup qualifiers with their respective nations.
From there, the Lions go to Los Angeles to face the Galaxy before returning home for the Columbus Crew, then off to DC and Toronto — two more places where the club has struggled to find points since joining MLS.
This stretch of games might come as the Lions’ toughest test yet. With the playoffs on the line, the club will need to grab as many points as it can from these four road games. The ability to take points on the road would be a huge asset during the playoffs, where Orlando would almost certainly be playing all of its games on the road, should the Lions sneak in as a No. 6 seed. It would also be a complete turnaround for a team that hasn't won away from Orlando since the first road trip of the season.
Well, all aboard to Montreal. The road to the playoffs is about to get bumpy.