It’s going to be a familiar foe on Sunday as the Lions travel to Audio Field in DC to take on DC United, a team they’ve already played this month. In that previous contest, Orlando lost on their home field 5-3, having been the second most goals they’ve scored in a game all season, but still not enough to win against a team at the bottom of the table. Despite the recent takeover by Wayne Rooney at Head Coach, United still find themselves at the bottom of the table. Orlando is coming off of its best performance of the season vs the NY Red Bulls in the Open Cup semifinal, a resounding 5-1 win that not only gave them a chance for some silverware, but pumped some life into this recent poor run of form. It’s a chance as good as any to finally grab 3 points in the league again.
Orlando City Stats
8-8-6, Top Goal Scorer: Kara, Top Assister: Pereyra, WLDDW
DC United Stats
5-12-3, Top Goal Scorer: Fountas, Top Assister: Estrada, LLDLW
Three Things 1. Taxi Fountas United do not have a whole lot of threats, but one of them is Taxi Fountas. Fountas has 10 goals and 3 assists in his last ten matches - with 3 of those goals coming against us on our home pitch. The Lions are most likely going to have some rotation in their backline after the effects of putting up a monstrous display vs the Red Bulls. If I’m Pareja, it’s a good opportunity for 3 points and you need your best defenders out there to control Taxi Fountas.
2. Getting More Attackers Involved
Despite the very promising offensive performance vs the Red Bulls, Orlando still shows inconsistency in their attack, especially in league play. Gioacchini could be an answer on the left hand side of the field. That side was pretty much neglected by Orlando, but not for lack of trying. Michel and Mulraney have not been potent enough to earn starting positions and it’s up for grabs. The right hand side is pretty much controlled by Torres, who has been stepping up massively. The middle is operated by Pereyra, and the top of the attack is Kara or Pato. Michel did play a bit of a 9 role vs New York, and maybe we can see that again this weekend. You cannot win games without scoring multiple goals and it’s time to make a run in the league and create some flowing offensive chemistry. Hopefully, the link ups we saw in the Open Cup translate to this game.
3. Do Anything for 3 Points
This is an absolute must win for Orlando. The sunshine and rainbows that ensued following the win vs the Red Bulls will become a thunderstorm of rain and lightning if we can’t secure 3 points against this shit team. According to reports, this is going to be Wayne Rooney’s first match on the touchline. I can already feel the new manager juju against us. Orlando fans are growing impatient and they’ve steadily watched a team that was in the Top 4 in the Eastern Conference start to drop down the standings as they drop points. DC is an opponent you have to beat. Tired legs, on the road, rotation of players, it doesn’t matter. Pareja needs to find a way to get this done.
A Look at DC United ~ 22 in the league with 26 goals scored ~ Wayne Rooney has recently taken over as Manager ~ Tied for most goals conceded in MLS (43) and third most shots against (114) ~ Team assist leader Julian Gressel was traded to the Vancouver Whitecaps earlier this month
Prediction 2-1 Lions win. The showing against the Red Bulls gives me hope for the attacking efforts we will see on Sunday. Orlando had no problem scoring against DC last time, but the issue was stopping their offense. It should be a more smooth and controlled effort from the Lions come Sunday. Vamos!