Analysis: NYCFC (a). Have Orlando City Just Opened The Door To Fort Lauderdale And Columbus?
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Have Orlando City just shot themselves in the foot with a sawn off shotgun? This was a defeat with potentially ruinous consequences for the Lion's top 7 hopes. It's a result that means Orlando head into games against Fort Lauderdale and Columbus level on points with both. Columbus, it's worth noting, have a significantly greater GD than us. Inter Fort Lauderdale have the same number of wins (first decided before GD), but could surpass us.
We needed to not lose this game.
Yet, here we are. And we only have ourselves to blame.
We still have some semblance of control, granted. However, the fact that our 2 remaining games are against both Fort Lauderdale and Columbus is as much problematic as it is fortunate.
Poor defending costs us again
It's been a recurrent theme throughout the season. Orlando City have kept 2 clean sheets in their last 15 league outings. And it's not hard to see why at times. The defending for NYCFC's first goal was amateurish. Ercan Kara and Rodrigo Schlegel fail to make any sort of meaningful play on the ball (figure 1) and no one bothers to track Alexander Callens' run into the area (figure 2), who is presented with the simplest of chances.
Figure 1 is a game still from the second half.
Figure 2 is a game still from the second half.
The second is even worse. It's just amateur hour. First of all, Moutinho is caught out way too high up the pitch (figure 3). He then goes for the same ball that Rodrigo Schlegel is trying to cut out and they both completely ignore Gabriel Pereira (figure 4), who darts down the inside right channel before feeding the ball through to Talles Magno who wins the game for the Pigeons.
Figure 3 is a game still from the second half.
Figure 4 is a game still from the second half.
Orlando didn't do enough to control the game in the second half
In the second half Orlando didn't assert themselves on the game enough, only maintaining 41.8% of the possession and playing 56 less successful passes than NYCFC. The Lions also failed to have a single shot on target aside from the goal. They also committed 11 fouls, most of which were inconsequential. It just seemed like we were determined to give the game away. We naturally retreated after the goal, which continues to be an issue. Orlando have lost the lead 6 times on the road this season, as well as losing 8 games at Exploria Stadium. If we don't make the play-offs, no one can argue it's not an undeserved fate.
That's my rant over.
Torres had another good game. The Uruguayan playmaker's stock continues to rise; with 8 MLS goals and 7 assists. Torres has more than justified his hefty price tag and seems to be the most consistent player on the squad currently.
Gallese -6- Probably could do better with the second goal, but that wasn't the primary reason it was scored.
Moutinho -6- Positioned way too high for the second goal.
Schlegel -5- Got into a right mix with Moutinho for the winner.
Antonio Carlos -6- Didn't do too much wrong.
Ruan -6- Got up and down quite well, but still doesn't seem himself.
Araujo -6- Typical combative self.
Pereyra -7- Tried to make things happen.
Torres -8- Orlando's brightest star again.
Urso -6- Struggled to get into the game.
Angulo -6- Only had 19 touches. We didn't use his pace at all.
Kara -6- Needs to do better with the equaliser, but had an important role in our goal.
Michel -6- Didn't offer much.
Akindele -6- Thought he was unlucky not to start after Toronto.
Smith -6- Didn't do much wrong.
Mulraney -5- Offered very little.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“A very tight game for both teams who understand the situation and implications of the result. I thought it was a very good [match]. We all are working and trying to get the results. I thought we had the initiative on, not just opening the score, but trying to keep up on the ambition to win the three points. At one point we did get unorganized on a couple plays where they tied the game and scored the second one. We had a couple attempts to tie it up, but we couldn't finish. I thought the effort from the players was very good. Obviously, disappointed about the call. It was the thing that gets us down right now and makes us mad.”
*All statistics courtesy of fotmob.com.
Cover image and top player image courtesy of Orlando City SC.
Media availability footage courtesy of Orlando City SC.
Game stills courtesy of MLS.