After last weekend’s draw with the Chicago Fire, the Lions look ahead to a home match-up against struggling FC Cincinnati. If Orlando City wants to have a successful campaign this season it is important that the Lions come out with three points on Saturday.
Dating back to last year, FC Cincinnati has lost its last 14 matches against MLS competition in the regular season. Their offense has not looked promising as they are one of the seven MLS teams who have yet to record a goal this season. This isn’t to say that the Orange and Blue have no attack that Orlando should be concerned about. Cincinnati has had more scoring attempts (29) than Orlando (13) and Saturday’s visitors have had a more accurate shooting percentage (27.6%) compared to Orlando (23.1%) so far this season. Another stat to note is that Cincinnati is forcing a higher number of corners (12) than Orlando City, which has taken six corners so far this season. It is important that Orlando does not take Cincinnati lightly on Saturday or the Lions could fall victim to the first goal of the season for the Orange and Blue.
Cincinnati’s defense has been no better than its offense, with the worst goal differential in the league so far at -6 on the season. Cincinnati is tied with the San Jose Earthquakes for most goals against this season, allowing six goals scored against them this year and ranking 26th out of 28 in save percentage, at 33.3%. To be fair to Cincinnati though, five of the team’s six goals against came in their opening match against the blisteringly hot offense of Austin FC, which has recorded five goals in each of their games this season.
Players to Watch:
When Cincinnati is on the attack, one player the Lions’ defense needs to keep an eye on is forward Brandon Vázquez, who has been the main source of scoring opportunities for the club. Vázquez is tied for second among MLS players in scoring attempts this season, with eight total; however, he has not been accurate with those attempts, only putting 25% of those on target. It will be important that the Lions keep an eye on Vázquez as he is the main source of opportunities for the offense of Cincinnati. Midfielder Júnior Moreno has been the most reliable facilitator for the Orange and Blue. So far this season, Moreno has been connecting on 88.9% of passing attempts. Moreno has been an important source of consistency for Cincinnati as he has been a key in the clubs attempts at eliminating turnovers and increasing time of possession.
Another player to watch for is Cincinnati Designated Player and midfielder Luciano Acosta, who is the club’s leader in duels won. Acosta has won 27 duels this season and he has been relatively efficient as well, as his duel percentage is currently 48.1%. Acosta can create transition opportunities and he is a skilled attacking player.
FC Cincinnati defender Geoff Cameron is a player who could cause some disruption for the Orlando City offense. Cameron is a veteran USMNT player who is leading FC Cincinnati this season in interceptions, with four on the year.
I am excited to see how Orlando City responds to last weekend’s draw as we look ahead to the Lions’ match-up against the Orange and Blue this weekend. Let’s hope Orlando comes out on Saturday and takes three points. Go Lions!