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Orlando City at Inter Miami CF: Five Takeaways

What did we learn from Orlando City’s 4-1 loss to Inter Miami CF?

MLS: Orlando City SC at Inter Miami CF Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City made the trip down to Fort Lauderdale to take on Inter Miami CF. The Lions are chasing a playoff spot, but things didn’t go well Wednesday night in a 4-1 loss. Miami ran roughshod over Orlando City, as the Lions put up one of the poorest performances of the season. What can we take away from Orlando City’s loss on the road?

The Worst Possible Start

It took all of 37 seconds for Orlando City to make a massive mistake and give up a goal. Kyle Smith’s poor pass bounced off a Miami player and headed back towards Orlando City’s goal. It shouldn’t have been a big deal, but Rodrigo Schlegel and Antonio Carlos seemingly didn’t think it was necessary to actually run with any pace, allowing Leonardo Campana to split them and chip Pedro Gallese while he was well off his line. It was a nightmare start for a club that is looking to make the playoffs.

The Worst Possible Version

We were shown the “bad” version of all the starters. Of course, “starters” is also up for debate as Óscar Pareja decided that this was the match to do some rotating, with Tesho Akindele, Benji Michel, and Kyle Smith replacing the normal starters. I mentioned above how Smith, Carlos and Schlegel created the opportunity for Miami’s first goal, but they weren’t the only ones. Michel had a chance to even things up if he would have taken a first-touch shot, but that didn’t happen. Oh, and every player made sloppy passes. Every single one. It was ugly.

It Got Worse

Of course Gonzalo Higuaín scored a goal against the Lions. He’s been doing that quite a bit recently, but mostly in the second half. This time he waited until the 39th minute to score Miami’s second goal. Indiana Vassilev chipped the ball past a high-pressing Schlegel to Ariel Lassiter, who in turn provided the assist for Higuaín. Carlos was the only defender back and he couldn’t cover two players. It was a good representation of what the entire first half felt like.

Handballs?

For the second week in a row, Orlando City was looking for a handball call on the opposition, and for the second week in a row, it was not called. Like last week, I never really saw it, but supposedly the video assistant referee looked at it and decided there was no handball. Naturally, Ruan was called for a handball in the box minutes later earning a penalty. That gave Higuaín a chance for his second goal of the match, which he easily put past Gallese. I’m not sure that the Lions should be asking for anymore handball calls. It just isn’t working.

Carlos’ Worst Match Ever

Yes, I know that I mentioned him earlier on the first goal. He never got any better. He was indecisive on the second goal — though there wasn’t a good option with two players to cover. His decision making was not good. I’m not sure if someone kidnapped his dog, or spiked his cereal with a potion of some sort, but this is the worst performance from Carlos as a Lion. The icing on the cake was when he threw a hand up to stop Bryce Duke while standing flatfooted, earning a yellow card. That foul means he will not be available for the must-win match on Sunday against the Columbus Crew. With Robin Jansson out, that means Schlegel will be paired with...someone? Does Orlando City bring in Thomas Williams? Do the Lions put Kyle Smith at center back? There are no good options.

Bonus Takeaway

As bad as this match was — and it was very bad — I do want to acknowledge that Facundo Torres didn’t have a horrible match. He played well and he provided the assist on Kara’s consolation goal. That assist gave him the team’s single season record for goal contributions. Here’s hoping he’s still with Orlando City next season and, if not, that the Lions get a whole lot of money on the transfer (Torres is signed through 2025 with a club option for 2026).


That is what I saw during the match. What did you see? Let me know in the comments section below.