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  • Writer's pictureDan Berridge

Analysis: FC Cincinnati (h). Season Goes From Bad To Worse For Orlando.

Do or do not. There is no try.


Well, there wasn't a lot of doing anything in this game. The season continues to go from bad to worse for Orlando City. The Force most certainly was not with Oscar Pareja's side on Star Wars night.


This was another lifeless performance that even Mother Talzin would struggle to bring back to life. Yes, this piece is going to be laden with Star Wars references. For obvious reasons. Besides, there isn't much positive to say about the soccer is there?



It feels like the Papi in or out debate is going to rear it's ugly head again. All I'll say is he's not doing himself any favors right now. His continued selection of Rodrigo "Jar Jar Binks" Schlegel is baffling. I know David Brekalo was hurt, but I'd sooner see Michael Halliday or Kyle Smith there. Schlegel is a liability, but more on him later.


Actually, no. Let's start there.



Rodrigo Schlegel


How many times? How many times is he going to cost us? It's inevitable. It's not going to change. After all you can't stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting (that's a good one, right?).


He's patently not good enough. He's all over the place for the opener, he hadn't switched on yet. Although, in fairness, the same can be said for Robin Jansson.


The red card... It's almost comical. How is he losing the ball there? Like that? And he's never winning that challenge. It was always going to be a red card.


He's a walking calamity, I'm sorry but he is.


Lack of an identity


I don't really understand what we are right now? I watch us play and I can't see any identity. I can't see a clear style of play. We move the ball slowly in possession, we're not particularly good in transition, we're not good defensively. What are we right now?



We created some chances in the game, sure. But we have technically good soccer players. We're always going to creat something. But it's not often enough. And when the chances come, we don't take them. We are currently ranked 24th in MLS for goals per match (figure 1). We are ranked 21st for total XG (figure 2). We're 25th for shots on target. 25th!


We're a poor side right now. We're directionless. Visonless. We'll end up paying the price for our lack of vision.


Figure 1 shows our goals per match ranking.


Figure 2 shows our XG ranking.

Figure 3 shows our shots on target per match ranking.


Top player


None of them so I'm giving it to the fans


I won't lie, I love the use of Darth Revan in an Orlando City tifo (even if he is clad in Din Djarin's Mandalorian armour for some reason). Great use of the "I am Revan reborn. And before me you are nothing" from the old Revan EU novel.


But just every single Orlando City fan. There in numbers, week after week, despite the poodoo the team puts out.


You guys are the real MVPs.




Player ratings


Starting XI


Gallese -6- Just looked beaten.


Þórhallsson -6- Looked lost at times.

Schlegel -3- Embarrassing.

Jansson -6- Really off it.

Santos -5- Not his best game.


Araújo -5- Anonymous.

Cartagena -6- Passive.


Angulo -6- Worked hard.

Torres -5- Nowhere to be seen.

Ojeda -5- Did nothing.


McGuire -5- More well hidden than Exegol.


Substitutes


Brekalo -5- Probably didn't expect to be coming on.

Halliday -6- Was OK.

Lodeiro -6- Didn't impact things.

Muriel -5- Anonymous.


Reaction


Orlando City SC Head Coach Oscar Pareja


“Well, another frustrating night because of the result. Obviously at this point we are having urgency to get points. It’s a feeling we all had in the locker room. But I think the effort and the correction of the players demonstrated we’re still brave and trying to bounce back. Regarding the game, I thought we were the best team but that doesn't give us anything. Those two dark moments in the first minutes, and the other one with the red card, just kept us from the result and that’s what makes us sad and frustrated. Other than that, I told the players what I saw on the pitch was a team with heart, with courage, and our fans in the stadium deserve it. We’re very proud of them as well and they didn’t stop pushing the team. We see we have to keep going, navigate this difficult time that hasn’t happened to us, to me in Orlando. But our heart is intact, and we have to push.”




*All statistics courtesy of Fotmob.

Cover image courtesy of Orlando City SC.

Top player image courtesy of @StatesideShow on X.

Media availability and b-roll footage courtesy of Orlando City SC.



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