Orlando City SC will come back home with a bad taste in its mouth as the team suffered its fourth straight loss in a 3-0 setback to New York City FC at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. The Lions are going through a very tough moment and the team’s last performances have exposed most of its struggles.
Here are our five takeaways from the team’s defeat in the Big Apple.
Lions Struggle with Firepower
Scoring goals has recently been an issue for Orlando City. In the last four matches, the Lions managed to score only three goals and the last time they were able to score multiple goals was in the 3-1 victory over Real Salt Lake, almost a month ago. Much of the team’s struggles have to do with Dom Dwyer’s injury and, with Stefano Pinho not seeming to be a capable substitute, Head Coach Jason Kreis has played midfielder Josué Colmán in the striker role lately. The Paraguayan clearly doesn’t have a background up top, but he’s trying to adjust and is becoming more dangerous every match.
Kljestan Had a Tough Night
Orlando City’s captain Sacha Kljestan had a difficult night at Yankee Stadium. The 32-year-old veteran seemed disconnected at times, turning the ball over too often and registering just an 80% passing accuracy, which is below his usual standard. His most harmful mistake, though, happened early in the second half, when he fired a penalty kick into Sean Johnson’s post to waste Orlando’s best opportunity to change the match.
Tajouri-Shradi Gives Orlando a Hard Time Again
Libyan forward Ismail Tajouri-Shradi is quickly becoming a nightmare for Orlando City as the 24-year-old player has scored each time he’s faced the Lions in 2018. Tajouri-Shradi, who played in only 11 matches so far, found the back of Orlando’s net back in March, when he started for NYCFC for the first time in a 2-0 victory, and last night he had a brace to lead his team to another win.
Still No Center Backs
Last week, against the Chicago Fire, Kreis had only one center back available in Chris Schuler. But things could get worse and they did, as Schuler broke his arm during the game, leaving no options at all for the gaffer for this week’s match. Kreis started with midfielder Tony Rocha and RJ Allen at central defense. Both of them had spent some minutes in the position already in 2018 and played decently, but the lack of a true center back certainly played a factor in the team’s loss, as it was clear on NYCFC’s last two goals.
First Minutes for Toia Aren’t Good
Against NYCFC, Donny Toia, Orlando’s starting left back during the 2017 season, played his first minutes for the team this year. The 26-year-old defender, who lost his spot to Mohamed El-Munir, had a rough start, being easily dribbled past by Tajouri-Shradi on the first goal. Toia stayed on the field for just 60 minutes and had just two tackles and a subpar 75% passing accuracy.