Orlando City dropped its sixth straight MLS regular season match in a row last night against the Montreal Impact. Frustration is at a high level for coaches, players, and supporters. Orlando City has two back-to-back six-game streaks, one winning and one losing. The Lions will be looking to break out of the current losing streak as soon as possible. That, however, is for another day. Let’s look at what we can take from the latest loss.
Possession isn’t the Key
Orlando City won time of possession 57% to 43%. Winning the time of possession has been the case in each of the last three losses. All three matches, the Lions conceded the first goal, and all three they lost by three goals. It isn’t that the Lions can’t keep the ball, it’s that they are giving up opportunities that their opponents are finishing. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Orlando City, and the ball really isn’t bouncing its way.
Better than the Result
Despite starting slowly, the Lions settled into the match after 20 minutes, and began creating chances. Other than a few breakdowns, they seemed to be the better team for most of the match. The score wouldn’t get worse until the Lions started substituting more offensive pieces to try and get results. By the end of the match, you had some very tired players, that were having to range the entire pitch. This is always a danger when trying to equalize late, and it bit the Lions on the rear end.
Sometimes you don’t see a player for a while, and then because of injuries, scheduling, or international call-ups, that player is given an opportunity to prove himself. This go around that player is Tony Rocha. He started one match earlier in the season, but hadn’t seen the field since March. Now he’s started three of Orlando City’s last four matches, and he’s been steady to good in those matches. No more so than against Montreal. Playing left bddack, Rocha did a good job of pushing forward, creating opportunities, and making good passes. There were times when he was the best player for Orlando City, despite the loss.
Fouls and Penalties
The disparity of fouls for and against Orlando City continued in Canada. Or did it? Within the first five minutes, the Lions had given up a penalty kick to go down 1-0. The Lions committed nine fouls and Montreal committed 12. Yellow cards were three for Orlando City and none for Montreal. That means Orlando didn’t have more, but the ones that were called were more game changing. Let me be clear, there is no deliberate conspiracy against Orlando City. It just sometimes feels like there is.
The Finish Just isn’t there
It’s an ongoing theme the last half dozen games. Despite getting Dom Dwyer back full time, Orlando City has not been able to finish chances. Whether it’s balls bouncing right into the goalie’s gut, or off the crossbar, or simply out of bounds, Orlando can’t seem to finish its chances. The pitch in Montreal was soaked, but at some point one would hope that a ball will bounce Orlando City’s way. So far it hasn’t happened, but if someone could sacrifice a bucket of fried chicken or offer Jobu another drink, that’d be great.
There you have it, my five takeaways. Did I miss something, or have something to say? I’m willing to bet you do, so let’s hear it in the comments.