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View from the End Line: A Look Back at August’s Predictions

Do crystal balls and whiskey mix well?

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

August was another fun month — fun being a relative term. I mean, watching snow fall in hell would be fun, if you aren’t a competitor I guess. The combination of the new Eastern European crystal ball and whiskey may not be working too well. I am not sure which of the two is clouding my vision at this point. Let’s take a quick look back and see how good, bad, or horrible the predictions were.

Aug. 4 vs. New England Revolution

Prediction: 3-1 City victory.

Actual: 3-3 Draw.

In what would be another chapter in the history of the Cardiac Cats, and another moment of a soon-to-be mentioned player continuing to solidify his place in City lore, the team stopped a three-match skid to garner a point at home. Although the team looked the stronger side for the vast majority of the match, individual errors left the squad looking at a 2-0 deficit after only 18 minutes. Goals from Dom Dwyer and Amro Tarek’s first MLS tally (although some thought it may be given as an own goal against New England’s Matt Turner) brought the Lions even. Not long after, another error let Teal Bunbury score. And then, in classic fashion, a Yoshimar Yotún whipped-in free kick found Scott Sutter, who put the bar near post just enough to get by Turner.

This was also the match that saw a decent scrum on the pitch, one that saw lots of pushing, and an eventual call from the VAR, leading to a red card shown to Yoshi.

Aug. 12 at D.C. United

Prediction: 3-2 City victory.

Actual: 3-2 loss on that play.

In one of the most heart breaking matches to watch, the crystal ball got the score line correct, but unfortunately I must have transposed the names. There are so many things to review in this match, but it is almost too painful to bring back up. In another strange twist, Head Coach James O’Connor brought the boys out in a 5-4-1 formation, asking Chris Mueller and Mohamed El-Munir to run end line to end line. The Lions played well, but could not contain Luciano Acosta. The Lions also played a man down for 35 minutes after another VAR call to the head referee led to a straight red shown to Cristian Higuita. The Lions did very well being a man down, coming from behind to tie the match at 2-2 in the 71st minute. And then the squad got a swift kick in the groin in the 94th minute, when a D.C. United free kick, with David Ousted up to go for the win, was cleared out to the left, and run down by Will Johnson. The rest will certainly be that of lore for the 2018 season.

Aug. 24 vs. Atlanta United

Prediction: 2-0 loss and the woes against Atlanta continue.

Actual: 2-1 loss.

The woes against our rival — yup, I said it — continued as predicted. I never want to predict a loss, but sometimes the honesty and gravity of the situation, player options, and current form lead to a dark conclusion. Missing two players that had been showing well on the pitch, Yoshi and Higuita, the options across the middle were extremely thin. There were some bright moments, including the return of Jonathan Spector, the debut of Carlos Ascues, and 30 MLS minutes for Pierre Da Silva. Sutter notched another goal, and the Lions looked like they might finally get a point from a match with Atlanta, but another second-half goal, a history-making goal for Josef Martinez, meant that Orlando City is still winless against our nearest rival.

September predictions are out there, and if I remember correctly, I switched to rye while gazing. August should have been a good month, but luck seems to be avoiding the Lions right now. Luck also seems to be playing hide and seek with me and my crystal ball. Depending on how this month pans out, I may be selling one cheap.