Another Orlando City SC road game ended in disappointment as the Lions were downed by the Vancouver Whitecaps 5-2 Saturday at BC Place. It was Orlando’s fifth straight MLS loss and if a month ago the team was celebrating an unprecedented winning streak, now it has good reason to be concerned about its future in the season.
As we examine the Lions’ latest defeat, here are our five takeaways.
Poor Closing Leads to Another Setback
Orlando City reached its fifth straight MLS loss thanks to a terrible performance in the final portion of the match against the Whitecaps. The Lions were tough opponents to the Canadians for the better part of the first 76 minutes, having even controlled the match at times, but after the team conceded the second goal things went downhill and the game ended in a sound 5-2 loss. The team’s attitude in the last 20 minutes of the game was concerning and it should be made a priority Head Coach Jason Kreis needs to address quickly.
Davies Terrorizes Orlando’s Defense
Orlando City’s defense struggled mightily to contain Vancouver teenager Alphonso Davies in the match. The 17-year-old winger not only scored a goal and assisted three others, but he also had a handful of dangerous runs through the left side that forced both Will Johnson and Cristian Higuita to pick up yellow cards early in the match. Jason Kreis subbed the fullback out after he picked up a hamstring issue at the 40-minute mark.
Controversial Red Card to El-Munir
If Kreis was able to avoid a red card from happening on the right side of his defense, the same cannot be said about the opposite flank. Mohamed El-Munir, who was already on a yellow, made what it seemed to be a clean tackle on Jake Nerwinski in a counter-attack but referee Jose Carlos Rivero decided to send him off. Luckily for the Lions, Tony Rocha , who entered the game to fill El-Munir’s role at the left back spot, managed to assist Sacha Kljestan for the team’s equalizer just three minutes after he stepped on the field.
Dwyer Checks in Late, Scores
Recovered from an adductor injury that has kept him off the field for the better part of the last month, forward Dom Dwyer entered the match in the 64th minute, when the score was even. The striker had enough time to score a goal, his seventh of the season, which at the end of the day didn’t affect the game, but it made the team have multiple goals in an MLS game for the first time since May 6, the last game before his injury.
Tarek Returns with Decent Appearance
Center back Amro Tarek, who missed Orlando City’s last three matches as he was part of Egypt’s pre-World Cup camp also returned to the team after his name was not included in the African nation’s final squad for the tournament in Russia. Paired with Chris Schuler at central defense, he was having a decent performance with one tackle, three interceptions and two clearances. The Egyptian also had an important tackle on Yordy Reyna inside the box in the second half, but he took the Peruvian down a few minutes later to give the Whitecaps the penalty kick that sealed their victory.