- Matthew Laboissonniere
FC Cincinnati Match Preview
There’s no better time for revenge than the present. Orlando was handed their first loss of the season against FC Cincinnati earlier in the year, that match taking place in Florida. Cincinnati have had an average year since then, with a 5-0 loss on their name. Orlando is coming off of a hard fought 2-1 win vs Houston Dynamo at Exploria Stadium and now head to Ohio tonight to keep the momentum going. That momentum is not just from the win, but from overall road momentum as well. The Lions have an impressive 3-1-4 away record so far this campaign, and they always play with toughness on someone else’s pitch. Anything but a W Friday night is a waste of time, and Orlando cannot afford to drop any more crucial points in the Eastern Conference hunt.
Orlando City Stats
7-5-4, Top Goal Scorer: Kara, Top Assister: Pereyra, WDLWD
FC Cincinnati Stats
6-2-7, Top Goal Scorer: Vazquez, Top Assister: Acosta, DLLWL
1. Defensive Switches
Yellow cards have been an unsung hero in the loss of points for Orlando City this season specifically because of all the suspensions they are causing for players in the backline. I’m unsure if these yellow cards are a direct correlation to dropping points at all, but it feels like it. Jansson, who has arguably been top class since Carlos went out with the injury, will be suspended from this match. The backline will most likely consist of Ruan, Schlegel, Smith, and Mourinho. If I’m FC Cincinnati, I’m going at that FULL speed with Vazquez and hoping he has a field day. A strong defensive showing for Orlando would say a lot about this team, especially on the road.
2. People Besides Strikers, Shoot
Torres has one goal, Pereyra has one goal. Kara has 7. And Kara is far less talented than either of those two names I mentioned before (I swear I’m not a Kara hater). Orlando needs to start finding more avenues in scoring goals. One of the main reasons why I say they need more offensive chemistry is because of this. Pereyra kinda got screwed against the Dynamo because that was definitely his goal, but what’s up with Torres? It sometimes seems like he doesn’t even want to shoot. Well, speaking from Orlando fans, we want you to. And the goals need to start coming from people other than the strikers. It is good that Kara is getting on the scoresheet more often than not. He’s a designated player and that’s what he gets paid to do.
3. More Action From the Width
Most of the chances from Orlando come from Pereyra teeing or creating something from central play, trying to find Kara or maybe doing quick passes with Torres or Mulraney. But I’d like to see Orlando use the width of the pitch more in this game. Moutinho is pretty solid going forward with the ball and he can get involved, and Ruan has good speed. He’s not as technically skilled or pinpoint accurate as other wide players, but he still can put in a decent ball. Using the width takes pressure off of the central midfielders who are already doing a lot of work. I would love to see fullbacks making runs in intelligent moments, but hopefully not leaving Orlando susceptible to the counter attack.
A Look at FC Cincinnati
~ Every since the 5-0 loss to Austin FC to start the season they have been solid defensively
~ Most likely will operate in a 3-5-2 lineup, even more important for Orlando to control the width of the pitch
~ Acosta is the biggest playmaker and Vazquez has emerged as the biggest goal scoring threat
A 1-1 draw would be a decent result for Orlando in my opinion. Without some starting defenders and traveling on the road again, you can draw but you can’t lose. If guys like Torres, Mulraney, and Pereyra want to take shots though, then maybe we score more than once. Vamos!