Orlando needed a win in the last home match before a four-game road trip. With both Jonathan Spector and Will Johnson out with injuries, and Cyle Larin not making the starting 11, it was an inauspicious beginning to the night. It got worse pretty quick, but let’s take a look at the five takeaways from the match.
Heck of a time for an Own-Goal
The Whitecaps had good fortune on the road when their set piece in the ninth minute resulted in Tommy Redding putting in an own-goal while trying to defend. To be fair to Tommy, I don’t think he did anything wrong. It was his job to try to get on that ball and it was unfortunate he wasn’t able to get up high enough to direct it over the bar rather than in the goal. Still, it wasn’t the start that Orlando needed.
Passing Did Not Get a Passing Grade
The Lions gave away the ball at some very unfortunate moments, two of which resulted in the second goal for Vancouver. I know that the team was trying to push forward (which is good), but it sometimes looked like the Lions were not on the same page, or were surprised that they received a pass from a teammate. I don’t know if it’s the new players that have been added, and that they haven’t had time to get to know each other, or if they were just pressing too hard, but it didn’t help create chances. It’s funny to say this when Orlando City had an 85% passing rate, and 72.4% possession in the match, but tell me you weren’t frustrated with the giveaways in the second half.
Shots, Shots, Shots!
Orlando dominated time of possession and had the most shots by far — 16 for Orlando City in the first half to one for Vancouver. But only one of the Lions’ first-half shots was on target. It wasn’t quite so many in the second half, with nine shots and three on target, and one of them even went in. It was nice for Cyle Larin to get back on the scoreboard, but a second one would have been even better. In the second half, Vancouver added six more shots, and had one go in. This has been the story for Orlando City for the last few months. Plenty of opportunities, but not enough results.
Agressive Gameplan Needs Better Defense
Orlando obviously had a plan to attack, attack, and attack. This was especially true after going down one goal. However, when a team does that, it is susceptible to the counter, and that’s when skilled and experienced center backs are very important. Unfortunately for Orlando, Jonathan Spector was still out with an injury, and you could see both Leo Pereira and Tommy Redding get beat or were out of position on some of the counters. Would Spector have made a difference? We can’t say for certain, but I’m sure you wish he’d been in there as much as I did.
Say Goodnight, Gracie
Orlando needed to win this game. Once the Lions went down two goals, the most they could hope for would be a draw. However, just as it’s been so many times this season, the final touch just wasn’t there for Orlando City. For the Lions to make the playoffs would require a monumental win streak, and if you’ve been watching, there’s no reason to assume they could do that.
Well Lion faithful, that’s what I saw in the match. Do you agree? Is there something you think I missed or was more important? Let me know in the comments.