Let’s be real. Orlando City’s chances of making the playoffs are slim. The club would need to win back to back matches to end the season, which is something the Lions haven’t been able to accomplish all year. Additionally, everyone else has to lose. Are you confident in that kind of luck for the Lions? Me neither.
I’m sure James O’Connor and the players will say they just have to control what they can control, and hope for the best. Saying and believing things like that is their job. However, it is not my job. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing for Orlando to play for to close out these last two matches. Let’s take a look.
Orlando City ends the season at FC Cincinnati and against the Chicago Fire at home. FC Cincinnati has no chance whatsoever of making the playoff, but Chicago is just behind the New England Revolution for that seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. Orlando City played Chicago way back on March 9, to a 1-1 draw at Chicago. A draw or a win might be enough to keep Chicago from jumping over New England on the last week of the season. Everyone knows, that if you can’t make it yourself, playing spoiler is the next best thing.
Getting Out of the Record Books
FC Cincinnati might be in worse shape than Orlando City, but that doesn’t mean the Lions should take the Ohio side lightly. In fact, FC Cincinnati is one goal away from beating Orlando City’s goals allowed record from last season. That is a record that the club, the players, and the supporters would all like to see somewhere else. It could all happen this weekend. Someone on Orlando City just needs to score a goal.
Who ends up staying and who ends up leaving might already be largely decided. But, it also might not be, depending on who still puts in the effort. Supporters should stand by their club through good and bad. The same should be expected from the guys getting paid to play. Even if a player thinks he won’t be around next season for Orlando City next season, shouldn’t he be auditioning for other clubs with his performances? How someone plays when there’s nothing left to play for, speaks volumes about their character.
Despite not making the playoffs again, the core of the Orlando City supporters are still showing up. Good on them for doing so, as that is what being a supporter means. O’Connor and the players should be thankful and pay back that loyalty with their best performances regardless of making the playoffs. Doing so is how you keep them coming back for a chance at the playoffs next season.
There are probably other reasons as well, but these were the ones foremost in my mind. Let me know your thoughts below. Go City!