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  • Writer's pictureDan Berridge

Analysis: Atlanta United (a). Embarrassing Lions destroyed in Atlanta.

Embarrassing. Flat. Pathetic. All adjectives I'd use to explain Orlando City's performance in Atlanta. And that's me being kind. Oscar Pareja's team was hopelessly overrun in midfield, as Luiz Araújo and co. simply ran amock. Atlanta made all the running and were duly rewarded with a goal from George Campbell and an OG from Daryl Dike before half-time. Ezequiel Barco then rubbed salt into the wound late on. Atlanta outshot Orlando 18-8 and had 55% of the possession in an astoundingly one sided match.

Orlando simply were not at the races, in any way shape or form. Regular readers will know I rarely mince my words. The only positive I could take from the game was that it was only 3-0. The defeat to New York City FC was bad. This was worse. Shameful. Disgusting. It was a performance lacking any energy, enthusiasm or quality. The players need to take a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror. I'm struggling to remember the last time I saw an Orlando City performance so saturated with apathy; it was listless and stoic in the extreme.

Here's my main issue. I can take being out played. Losing to the better team. I'm OK with that. It might leave one feeling somewhat melancholy, but you can accept it. I cannot, however, and will not, accept the passive manner in which Orlando lost this game. If I didn't know better, I'd say they didn't care. Atlanta wanted it more. And in a rivalry game, particularly one of this magnitude, that is simply unacceptable. Out fought and out thought. It was shameful.

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I'm not going to waste anybody's time by going through the particulars as far as the statistical analysis goes. I don't think this defeat is as nuanced as that. I'm sorry, but it just isn't. This game was lost in the tunnel. Orlando just didn't seem to have the stomach for this fight. If this were a boxing match, it would've been called long before the final whistle. Orlando's lack of energy left them hopelessly exposed in midfield, as the likes Marcelino Moreno broke lines at will. The only player that emerges from this game with even a modicum of credit is Adam Grinwis. Without the erstwhile Sacramento Republic 'keeper the gulf between these two sides would have been even more cavernous.

I just cannot fathom where this performance came from? Sure, we're missing key pieces. Junior Urso, Pedro Gallese, Sebas Mendez... All starters. But this was a squad that's the healthiest it's been in weeks. Atlanta weren't at full strength either. To use the injury report as an excuse would be wishy-washy at best. This team just stunk the place out.

I had no issue with the starting line-up or formation. With Mauricio Pereyra dropping in to link up the play, and Benji Michel with his pace out wide. There was a really opportunity to clog the midfield and break lines in wide areas with the likes of Michel and Ruan on the field. We just couldn't do it. And when we did do it, the final ball was just awful. This was just an atrocious performance from start to finish. A performance lacking character, enthusiasm and quality. There's not much more to it.

Oscar Pareja will shoulder some of the blame. He has too at the end of the day; he's the . For me, however, this one is on the players.

Top player

Adam Grinwis

He's honestly the only guy on the team that deserves any credit. Whilst his distribution was off, at times, his 2 saves prevented this from being a total blow out.

Player ratings

Starting XI

Grinwis -6- Stopped it from being worse.

Ruan -3- Embarrassing.

Antonio Carlos -3- Embarrassing.

Jansson -3- Embarrassing.

Moutinho -3- Embarrassing.

DeZart -3- Embarrassing.

Perea -3- Embarrassing.

Nani -3- Embarrassing.

Pereyra -4- Slightly less embarrassing than everyone else.

Michel -3- Embarrassing.

Dike -3- May as well have not been there.


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