It was another difficult trip to the west coast for Orlando City as the team fell to the LA Galaxy in an exciting game, 4-3. The Lions have now lost 12 of their last 13 league games. Here are five takeaways I took from Orlando City’s final game of the season in the City of Angels.
El-Munir is Better in the Midfield
Mohamed El-Munir made an appearance in the midfield and was a different player. As a defender, the Libyan can be a liability. In LA, he was aggressive down the left, playing very well with Yoshimar Yotún. He constantly created trouble for the Galaxy and could’ve scored the opening goal himself through two good opportunities. El-Munir in the midfield could very well be something we see more of as the season progresses.
Orlando City Can Counter
Orlando City’s refusal to counter attack has annoyed fans all season long. However, this is not out of an inability to do so, something that was shown again in LA. While the team usually opts to play backwards to avoid countering, the Lions scored on a very nice counter attack in Columbus. The second goal in LA was another well-executed counter attack, proving that the Lions can indeed do so.
This isn’t news to anybody who’s been watching MLS this season, or Zlatan Ibrahimovic throughout his career, but the striker is unstoppable when he’s on. The Swedish superstar has now scored 15 goals in 17 games after his hat trick against Orlando City. The Lions’ defense left much to be desired, as usual, but Zlatan probably would’ve scored a hat trick anyway given the way he was playing. It’s a tough loss but sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the brilliance of a player.
Orlando City Didn’t Concede Quick Goals
One positive to take from this game is that Orlando City didn’t concede immediately after falling behind, 4-3. The Lions had three leads in this game so it was a gut punch when Ibrahimovic’s third goal gave the home side its first lead of the game. When disappointing situations like that have occurred in the recent past, the Lions have tended to immediately concede again, effectively ending games. While they weren’t able to find an equalizer, they didn’t concede a fifth goal, which is an improvement.
Best Performance by a Goalkeeper Who Conceded Four Goals
It’s usually difficult to find positives for a goalkeeper when the opponent scores four goals, but Earl Edwards, Jr. actually had a pretty good game. Edwards couldn’t do anything about most of the Galaxy’s goals and he can be credited with keeping the team in the game. In the 43rd minute, Edwards made a diving save on a header by Ola Kamara that looked to be heading in, tipping it around the post with his trailing hand. In the 65th minute, Edwards made another terrific save on a point-blank attempt. It may have been the best performance by a goalkeeper that conceded four times.
While Orlando City lost again, it wasn’t all negative in this one. The defense did struggle throughout the game but there were plenty of positives in the attack and in goal. The Lions will look to break their most recent losing streak when they host the New England Revolution on Saturday.