You might notice a slightly different format to this week’s GBU, but don’t panic. You can still call me out on what I got right or wrong. I’m covering good, bad, and ugly for all three Orlando sides this time. Here we go!
The Good: There was actually plenty of good to go around. Orlando defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps for the first time. Obviously, taking all three points is important. Nani has continued to prove himself a leader for this club, and many other players had very good games. It was a good team win. Now if Orlando City can build on the win, the team might be on to something.
The Bad: One win doesn’t fix all the problems. The Lions are still learning who they are. James O’Connor is still installing his brand of soccer on this club, and the players are still learning how to work together. There are still plenty of losses to be had this season, and we’ll learn a lot from how the team builds from both wins and losses. So far this season, one has followed the other, and getting two results in a row is going to be necessary before too long.
The Ugly: Dom Dwyer is struggling. Now let me be clear, if you’re being marked by three defensive players every time you’re in the opposing team’s area, scoring can be very tough. It is still frustrating that Dom has not scored since the loss to D.C. United, and I’m certain that he is just as frustrated. At some point, O’Connor needs to figure out a way to get Dwyer back on the board.
The Good: I’m assuming the Pride team that flew into Tacoma was a tired team. It was their third match in eight days against three of the top teams in the NWSL, and they were still able to take a point on the road. The mental and emotional value of that point for the club shouldn’t be minimized. There are still many difficult matches to come, but celebrate the points when they happen.
The Bad: It’s been mentioned, but Alex Morgan giving up on the play where she was dispossessed by Crystal Dunn. Dunn went on to feed the ball to Lynn Williams who scored the first Courage goal just before halftime. Back up the field, Morgan was looking for a foul. Morgan should know better than to give up on the ball before the whistle blows, and normally I think she would. Hopefully, it is something we don’t see much of this season.
The Ugly: The 5-0 loss to North Carolina Courage. The Courage are arguably the best team in the NWSL, so I’m not upset the Pride lost to North Carolina. I am a little bit upset that they let the game get that out of hand. The Pride have some of the best players in the world on the team, and those players needed to step up, pick up the other players, and at least try to keep the match respectable. That didn’t happen, and the players shouldn’t let such a drubbing happen again.
The Good: The Young Lions secured their first point of the season in the 1-1 draw versus Tormenta FC. While they would slide back into their losing ways against Forward Madison, we should still celebrate progress of any sort. Additionally, they did score against Forward Madison to go up 1-0 initially.
The Bad: The match against Forward Madison is where it all came crashing back down, by giving up two goals and ending the home stand with another loss. Losing is a double-edged sword in some ways. Losing can inspire one to do better, or strive harder. It can also be self-sustaining if progress isn’t being made despite the losses. Hopefully, the players and fans of OCB have realistic expectations of what the team is and what the Young Lions are trying to accomplish. This is a developmental squad, and that is the standard by which they should be measured.
The Ugly: It’s not entirely their fault, as the men playing for OCB are often younger, less experienced, and less physical than the competition. I’m not speaking to their determination or heart, though the ability to play in adverse situations can be helped with experience. I’m speaking of that fact that they’re not all completely finished developing physically. That’s not a bad thing, as it means there room to grow. Literally, and figuratively.
There it is in all of its new presentation style. Like it? Hate it? Think I’m wrong? Let me know in the comments below. Go City!