Without any strikers, Yoshimar Yotún, or Mohamed El-Munir, Orlando City continued its poor form and lost again, this time 2-0 to the New England Revolution. The Lions are now 1-18-3 in the past 22 games and haven’t scored in 450 minutes.
James O’Connor gave Adam Grinwis his second MLS start, after he recorded a clean sheet back on Sept. 22. With no striker on the team, Josúe Colmán got the nod up top, Chris Mueller started at left midfield, and Richie Laryea started for just the second time this season. O’Connor deployed his team in a 3-4-3, not the 4-2-3-1 listed in the graphic below, though it played like a 5-3-2 with all the pressure New England held throughout the match.
Grinwis was heavily involved right from the start. Just moments after kickoff, Teal Bunbury looked to be in on goal but the ‘keeper was quick off his line outside the box and cleared it with his feet. Minutes later he was forced into a low diving save on a shot from Diego Fagundez.
The young goalkeeper nearly gifted the Revolution a goal in the ninth minute after a mishit pass, but New England failed to take advantage of it. The 26-year-old made up for it two minutes later on a save on a Cristian Penilla shot.
The Lions nearly went up in the 16th minute. Carlos Ascues made great contact with his head from a corner taken by Tony Rocha. The ball was heading into the corner but Wilfred Zahibo cleared it off the line.
Minutes later, New England had its shot to get ahead. The Revs had a plethora of chances but Orlando City players continuously got in the way and blocked the shots. Eventually, Bunbury’s shot from distance got past the defense and hit the post. The ball then rolled across the face of the net before it was eventually cleared.
The rest of the half dragged on for the Lions. Orlando City struggled in possession, holding just 34% in the first 45, and the Revolution dominated. The Lions stayed compact on defense and the three-back formation shifted to a five-back. When Orlando City got the ball the Lions cleared it long down the field to which was essentially just giving it away to New England.
The game was tied 0-0 at the end of the half, but Orlando City was lucky to not have been down. The Lions were out-shot (12-3), put just a single cross in — compared to New England’s 20 — out-passed (262-146), and had four fewer corners than the Revs. The positive in the first 45 minutes, though, is that the Lions got out of the half without giving up a goal.
While Orlando City got lucky that the Revolution couldn’t get its shots on target in the first half, it took just five minutes in the second for New England to capitalize. The ball fell to Penilla off a corner and he had all the time in the world to fire a shot. The ball was deflected as it went to the back of the net and Grinwis could do nothing to prevent it.
Five minutes later, the Revs doubled up after poor defending from Orlando City. Fagundez was left wide open at the penalty spot and just had to pass a Penilla cross into the side netting.
The Lions had one moment that looked dangerous in the second half. Rocha had the ball at the top of the box and fired a shot that was destined for the top corner. Brad Knighton stretched out with his right hand and made a highlight reel save to keep his clean sheet intact.
Orlando City provided nothing else on the attacking end and finished with just eight shots and a meager 39% possession. The scoreline would have been much worse if not for the four saves from Grinwis. The Lions rarely ventured forward and got into New England’s half. They were sloppy in possession and finished with a 66% passing accuracy, as the Revs never looked like they were going to lose.
Orlando City will look to end the losing streak on Wednesday when the Lions host the Seattle Sounders.