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Loving The Lions in Week 3

An optimist’s look ahead to this weekend’s match.

Jenn Glasheen The Maneland

I’ve said it before, loving the Lions isn’t always easy. It comes with the ups, the downs, and the dirty laundry all over the floor. So how do we continue to grow in our love for Orlando City Soccer Club? How do we find the will to keep fighting alongside them?

As my favorite teacher once said, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” What? A fictional teacher such as Albus Dumbledor can still be a favorite teacher. It’ll be no simple task, but here’s how we can keep hope alive after two weeks of relative heartbreak.

Week one’s match was what I like to call a disappointment sandwich. That is, starting out feeling nothing but despair, a happy surprise in the middle, and more sadness as the game came to a frustrating close. We saw OCSC fall 2-0 in the first half of the home opener against New York City FC. Sadness right out of the gate in front of fans that have been longing for their return. In a quick bit of fury, we see OCSC close the gap in the second half and suddenly we’re in the game! The supporters got louder, the play moved a little faster, and everything seemed a bit larger than life. Then that play in the 80th minute. You know the one...the VAR that should not be named, ending the match in a draw that could have easily been a win. What did we see in this match? We saw the will to fight! Last season, 2-0 at the half would have gotten to the Lions and the will to continue would have been lost. Though a draw was the result, it felt more like a win.

Week two is what I like to call a disappointment Popsicle. You know, where everything is pretty sweet and delicious until you’re down to the very last tastes and all you get is wooden stick. In the breathtaking match against the Chicago Fire, we saw Dom Dwyer Sparta kick the ball into the net over the keeper. They kept the lead over a 10-man Chicago right up to the very last minute. The last minute when a misread ball, or back line miscommunication, or whatever it was, allowed CJ Sapong to do what Sapong does — score on Orlando City in the 95th minute. What did we see in this match to give us hope? We got another sneak peek at the Nani and Dom Dwyer dynamic, we got Will Johnson’s hustle, and we got Ruan’s speed!

All hope is not lost! I mean, technically Orlando City is undefeated. We’re only two matches in as we head into the game against the Montreal Impact. If the Lions can stay focused, stay motivated, and stay hungry until the final whistle, they may just have what it takes. I know many fans were excited and counting on the recently signed Robin Jansson to come to our aide, but unfortunately he reportedly won’t be available for selection during tomorrow’s match.

Aditionally, Lamine Sané and Tesho Akindele are still out with injuries. I know I’m hoping for Dwyer, Josué Colmán, Nani, and Ruan to add some speed and intensity to the game. What’s giving you hope as we head into the weekend? Let us know in the comments. We did vow to stay positive, or was that just me? Just consider me your silver linings finder this season.