After winning six of its first seven games, Orlando City has now gone winless in its last six matches. The Lions have allowed 11 goals in this span, dating all the way to May 3, while only scoring four times. Looking at the big picture, things have clearly gone amiss, but are things truly as bad as they seem?
In five out of the six games, Orlando City held at least 48% possession, and the only game the that the Lions did not out-possess their opponents was against New York City FC (48.3%). Orlando City also had at least nine shots in five out of the six games, the 2-2 home draw to Sporting Kansas City being the outlier (7).
From just the possession and shots taken statistics, it is clear the Orlando City had its chances, but one of the problems lies in shot selection/accuracy. Orlando City took 75 total shots in those six games, while only 24 hit the target. Out of the 24 shots on target, only 15 were from inside the box, including all of the Lions’ goals. As far as who is taking the shots, Cyle Larin has eight of the 15, Kaká has three, two of which found the back of the net, and Carlos Rivas and Luis Gil each have two.
From an attacking standpoint, Orlando City needs these four players on the field, but only Larin has been a constant. Kaká actually has the fewest minutes out of the four players, starting just two out of the six matches and playing 274 minutes. Gil and Rivas have 355 and 393 minutes, respectively, while Larin has played every minute. Joe Bendik and Scott Sutter are the only other players to play all 540 minutes in this long winless streak.
The next number that jumps out is the amount of corners that the Lions have had — 26. These led to no goals. 0-for-26 is not pretty, and if the Lions were able to capitalize on just 19% of them, it would equal an extra five goals. Matias Perez Garcia and Will Johnson have combined for 75% of the corner deliveries, and a new kick taker may be needed moving forward, though Johnson was responsible for delivering corner kick service on goals by Servando Carrasco and Larin earlier this year.
Finally, Orlando City has seven missed chances, with at least one in every game. Had Orlando City finished these opportunities, it would have an extra eight points, while calculating in the opponents’ missed chances as well. An extra eight points puts the Lions second in the Supporters’ Shield position, with a game in hand.
It is difficult to win on the road, and Orlando City only played two home games in May. However, the Lions need to start capitalizing on their opportunities. Playing Gil, Kaká, Rivas, and Larin together will increase the amount of chances on goal. Head Coach Jason Kreis could also try Kaká or Rivas on the corners and set pieces, as Johnson and MPG have not found success of late.
As a whole, the team has not played as poorly as the results would reflect, but the Lions need to start finding the back of the net and turn this streak around.