Did you watch the Orlando City game against the LA Galaxy?
If you did, you should know now that the Orlando City attack is one that seems to get better every week that it takes the field. This weekend against an always-tough Galaxy club, the improvement showed. One thing was still missing though — goals.
Goals have been lackluster in the sense that Orlando City just hasn't scored too many (six total) over the course of this young season. When compared to teams that are scoring like Portland (16 goals) and Atlanta (14 goals) — the numbers appear to be a little underwhelming (although both of those sides have gotten to play Minnesota United already and have played more matches).
But you may ask yourself: Does it matter? The goals the team has scored are reflecting in a very positive way right now. While only being shut out in one game, a match which the Lions lost, they have managed to win all four other games — which all happen to be home wins.
This weekend, on the brink of a home draw vs. the Galaxy, the powers that be shined a light on Cyle Larin’s golden foot as he struck home a rocket of a game winner. The goal that gave the Lions three points and shattered hopes of a point for the Galaxy was a godsend of sorts — and wouldn't it be on Easter eve?
When you watched the game, though, this wasn't the complete story. The moment was amazing for its worth, no doubt. But the story at the end of 90+ minutes was the fact that Orlando City didn't score more. The chances were evident as we watched Carlos Rivas bend the ball in only to watch it nail the post, cut back across to an eager Jonathan Spector, miss, doink off the opposite post, and fall ever so gracefully to Giles Barnes, who nailed the ball into an unrelenting defense. Rivas, minutes later, would then go on to take on a defender from about 25 yards out and send a beauty of a shot in that ricocheted off the left post, zipping back across the goal line.
Orlando City created amazing opportunities throughout the match and has done so throughout the season, but the finished product hasn’t been put on full display...yet.
With Orlando City on the brink of scoring goals, here are some of the telltale signs that the Lions are bound to have a breakout game sooner than later.
Rivas is close to the edge, he just needs to be pushed. Once he is, once he tastes that glory of having a goal tagged with his name, expect him to unleash. His 11 shots are tied for the team high with Larin. He is a big part of this team's offense as he continues to be one of the most influential members on the team moving forward. His speed, combined with his ability on the ball, already puts the young player in a class of his own. Many things are in his favor right now — he has just simply been unlucky to this point. He will break out, and all Lions fans can do is hope that moment comes rather quickly.
In five games, Larin has only had one brace. In the second game of the season Larin capped off a home victory with two goals against Philadelphia to keep the winning vibes alive at the new stadium. Since then, he hasn’t had another brace but has still scored in games. Right now, Larin sits at four goals over the span of five games. The expectation of his should be more goals for certain, but more braces as well. When the multi-goal games start coming for Larin, the offense will start booming even more so. Right now, the service to him is good and as we have seen, it has gotten better each game.
Finally, the third big reason the Lions are bound to break away from barely missing to destroying an opponent is because the team is in fine form. Each piece of the puzzle is coming together for Orlando as the offense continues to put defenses under immense pressure. On top of that, Orlando’s defense continues to bolster the confidence of the guys going forward; each stop and takeaway presents amazing opportunities for the offensive players. New players like Will Johnson, Scott Sutter, and Giles Barnes are all forming great partnerships with their new teammates. Additionally, players like Matias Perez Garcia, Cristian Higuita, Antonio Nocerino, and Servando Carrasco are all stepping up in a major way.
The team’s form is incredibly good right now, and it should go without mentioning that the potential to get even better is a reality, as Kaká is still set to return. All in all, Orlando City is a team that is winning. Winning is the best thing you can do, but is it completely wrong to ask for a little more in the goal-scoring department? Or did I just become that guy that asks for too much?
My hope, as I am sure many share, is that Orlando City has a breakout, goal-scoring highlight reel against New York City FC this coming weekend — fingers crossed.