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  • Writer's pictureDan Berridge

Analysis: Inter Fort Lauderdale (a). Embarrassment For Orlando In Fort Lauderdale.

I've always loved football. It truly is the greatest sport in the world. But sometimes, I absolutely bloody hate it.


Saturday was one of those days.


The first half of this game was one of the most horrendous performances I have ever seen from an Orlando City team. They looked like a deer in headlights. Their passing was slow, laboured and unimaginative. They were completely and utterly shell shocked from minute one. Overawed by the occasion.



Fort Lauderdale have an ageing and largely very static defence and midfield. So we decided to play everything in front of them. Why? I think the players, simply put, had a mare. They bottled it. They weren't brave enough in an attacking sense.


And I think that's at the cusp of everything that went wrong in Fort Lauderdale. We can talk about the tactical set up and the line-ups but the players just shrunk. They choked. Every giveaway, every concession could be directly attributed to somebody in a purple jersey.


It was an embarrassing, atrocious, disgusting performance. And it's one that I don't apportion to Oscar Pareja. The blame for this shambolic defeat lies entirely with the players. They, for want of a better term, shat the bed.


In case you can't already tell, this is less of an analysis, more of a rant.



Our own worst enemies


Everything Fort Lauderdale did to us in that first half, we did to ourselves. The first goal is absolutely criminal. It was infuriating. César Araújo's giveaway was sloppy at best. The way he then ambled back into the area, all the while totally unaware of the presence of Luis Suárez. The entire backline was caught unawares and the former Barcelona striker had the easiest of chances. Araújo then has the audacity to throw his arms out to say 'where were you?' to literally anyone who might be listening. Umm.


It was embarrassing stuff.


The second one is just a joke. Only Rodrigo Schlegel knows what he thinks he is doing over committing like that. If you're going to push up and get sucked out of position with one of the world's best strikers around, you have to win the ball. Instead he flails in like a giselle and gets beaten all ends up. Robin Jansson has little chance of winning the ball as he tries to cover the space Schlegel decided to abandon.


And before you know it, it's 2-0.


The third goal was just amateur defending from Orlando City and Schlegel in particular. The whole backline stepped up. Schlegel decided he wasn't going to bother, played Suárez onside who then squared the ball to Robert Taylor and the game was over as a contest.


Schlegel by the way... If you're going to not step up with the rest of the backline, you sure as hell better have eyes on your man. He doesn't. It's probably the easiest goal Taylor scores this season.


The offside flag saved Orlando from the degrading feeling of being 4-0 down at half-time.


I mean, it says it all that the most fight shown by Orlando City player came at halftime when Mason Stajduhar decided to have a go at Suárez.


The second half was even worse. Fort Lauderdale could have had 10 and it wouldn't have flattered them. The 4th goal is possibly one of the most vexatious goals I have ever witnessed in my almost 36 years on this earth. It was just dreadful. Jansson did his best to try and clear the ball, but I haven't a clue what Schlegel was doing. He was more concerned with giving Lionel Messi a cuddle than playing the ball.


You can swap shirts with him after the game Rodrigo.



I'm getting kinda depressed talking about this to be honest. The 5th goal is much of the same, giveaways, flat footed defending... I can't be bothered to talk about it. The highlights are below, in case you really hate yourself and want to self inflict more pain.


I'll say it again. The players shit the bed. That's what happened here. Messi said, in the post match, that it was an easier game than they had anticipated. Yeah, no shit.


Top player


The travelling fans



You guys should be given ticket refunds. You were the real MVPs here.


Player ratings


Starting XI


They were all crap.


Schlegel -10


Substitutes.


Same


Reaction


Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja


"Obviously a very disappointing day for us. Recognizing from minute one to the end of the game, that didn't look like us in many areas and obviously in a team like them [Miami], we cannot permit [them] to have that many spaces and lose that many duels and give them that possibility to be sitting in our box, in those counterattacks. So really, really disappointed but we're pushing as a group. You know that I have a big respect for this group, their professionalism and what they do. And if there is any responsibility, we will search to find answers, but this group, professionalism will never be on the line.”




*Cover image courtesy of Orlando City SC.

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



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