This week is a bit of a roller coaster, and it ends on a down note. For that, I’m sorry. However, I’m not sorry about speaking out when I feel the need to do so. That being said let’s start on a lighter note.
In 2018, Orlando City played better offense and poorer defense than in 2019, as I outlined last week. However, that isn’t the full story. I went back and looked at the quality of those wins and losses, as they contributed to the massive goal differential. In 2018, the Lions won two matches by more than one goal. Unfortunately, they lost 11 matches by more than one goal, as well. This was an obvious contributor to the -31 goal differential the team finished with. In contrast, so far Orlando City has won four matches by more than one goal, while only losing five matches by more than one goal. Twice as many multi-goal wins, and less than half as many multi-goal losses have contributed to a -4 goal differential and a move up the standings when compared to last season. It’s a start.
Dropping much-needed points late against LAFC got me wondering how many points the Lions have lost or won when scoring a goal this season. I didn’t include matches where either Orlando City or the opponent did not score. The Lions have had two come-from-behind wins, earning the club six points, and they drew even late in one match to earn another point. However, they had one match where the club was ahead, and ultimately lost the match and the three points. Most importantly, Orlando City has had the lead in seven games where they ended up drawing and losing two points. That means the club has dropped 17 points when holding the lead at some point in the match. Taking the points earned and points dropped leaves you with -10 points. Those points would have Orlando sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Even half of those points would have the club above the red line.
It seems like every few months I have to write about another example of racism or misogyny in the world of soccer. Recently, Portland Thorns goalkeeper Adrianna Franch was subjected to racial slurs during a match at Rio Tinto Stadium against the Utah Royals. Officials, players, and supporters from both clubs have spoken out against the unidentified person, and the slurs used. Becky Sauerbrunn sums up my feelings nicely.
This is totally unacceptable. There is NO place for racism in our game or anywhere, EVER. https://t.co/itvhWSiLb3— Becky Sauerbrunn (@beckysauerbrunn) September 7, 2019
Sadly, this was not the ugliest thing to happen recently, as a 29-year-old Iranian woman was arrested for trying to sneak into a soccer match. In Iran, women are not allowed to watch soccer, and so Sahar Khodayari was arrested, and sentenced to six months in jail. Khodayari set herself on fire on Sept. 2, in front of the courthouse. She later died in the hospital. All because she wanted to do the same thing you and I do. Watch soccer. The amount that this is ugly and wrong, cannot be expressed with words.
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.