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  • Matthew Laboissonniere

FC Cincinnati Match Review

When Orlando City looks back at its schedule at the end of the season and reflects on all the points they were able to earn, they will see a big 0 on 3/12/22 against Cincinnati at home and wonder where they went wrong. Where did the points go? To waste. Hi, I’m Matt Maboissonniere and welcome to my diary. Orlando City is driving me insane in my first inaugural season as a Beat Writer. On a night where missed chance after missed chance came back to haunt them, the Lions of Orlando City fell at home to FC Cincinnati 2-1. FC Cincinnati gets their first win ever between these two teams and improves to 1-2-0. The Lions fall to 1-1-1 and all of a sudden, there could be trouble in Exploria.

Wait, hang on. Sometimes, you just have to tip your cap. Alec Kann, the goalkeeper for Cincinnati, deserves about 15 cap tips. The guy was a literal machine in the net, standing on his head every chance he could. I mentioned in the preview article about how he may be able to bail out a leaky Cincinnati backline and that proved to be somewhat the case. The stat sheet will read that Orlando peppered him with opportunities, and the young keeper was ready for the challenge. Easily the Man of the Match for me, and shooting practice is required for the Lions.

The biggest question mark coming into this game was going to be the Lions ability to create chances in possession, due to the fact that Cincinnati likes to counter attack. The 4-1-2-1-2 formation gave the Lions lots of problems however. A clogged center of the pitch forced sloppy passes and turnovers, allowing a wide open midfield for the orange to run through and score to get a 1-0 lead. Torres was picking the ball up in good spaces going forward and it was his cross onto the head of Urso that leveled things up. At that point, I thought the Lions would break the deadlock.

The biggest Q of the game was the no call against Ruan in the build up to Cincinnati’s second goal. It seemed like there was some sort of upper body/elbow action going on. I want to be as fair as possible in my analysis and I agree with the no call (blocks death threats). The way I see it, we’d be mad as shit if an Orlando player got that called against them. It’s a tough pill to swallow, and while I don’t think Cincinnati did enough to win that game, neither did we. We DEFINITELY did not. It’s a learning process.

Match Facts

Goal - 13’ - Vazquez

Yellow Card - 37’ - Vazquez

Goal - 42’ - Urso

Goal - 53’ - Vazquez

Yellow Card - 58’ - Jansson

Yellow Card - 61’ - Blackett

Yellow Card - 63’ - Kubo

Yellow Card - 73’ - Urso

Yellow Card - 81’ - Carlos

Yellow Card - 90 + 2’ - Kann

Three Things

1. The Best Attacking Lineup Needs to be Solved

Watching these first 3 games for Orlando City, it is hard to figure out the best attacking options for in and out regular season games. Michel looked good off the bench last night, but in my opinion hasn’t shown crazy stuff as a starter, despite scoring against Montreal. Torres looks like a starting lock every single week. Pato moved to RW to try to create more width but it’s clear he’s a striker. Kara’s size made the fullbacks think they had to spam crosses all game, and Ruan cannot cross. Once the starting attackers are decided, things will be easier moving forward.

2. Urso is a Certified Stud™

It was a really strong showing for Urso last night. We can talk about the goal, but he did a lot of other things to give the Lions a fighting chance. He attempted a team high 4 shots with 3 of them on target, as well as drawing 5 fouls. An 86.3% passing rate is not too shabby either. The strong Brazilian seems to have a great 2022 lined up for him.

3. When Push Comes to Shove

There have been two games this season that we didn’t win. In both of those games, the other team has been very physical. Very. It was basically the whole game plan for the Fire last weekend and it was kind of part of the plan for Cincinnati as well. Torres and Kara were bodied in masterful physicality that bordered the line between foul and fair play. The refs were a little generous for Cincinnati last night. Cincinnati had more yellows and more fouls in general. It’s not a coincidence we dropped points in these games. Whether it’s coming out with more physicality ourselves, or trying to find ways to address it and counter react from that, it’s something that needs to be decided quickly before the Lions get more

games under their belt.

Final Word

This one really stings to have not walked away with at least a point. Alec Kann had a “Tim Howard 16 saves vs Belgium” esque performance and sometimes a good offense cannot beat incredible goalkeeping. He made some amazing saves, but the opportunities need to start connecting in the future. First loss of the season against a team that was on a 14 match winless streak is always going to feel like shit. The manager experimented with some new attacking options and gave Kara his first start, which is promising looking ahead. Next practice: Shooting for 2 hours straight.

Up Next

The Lions will hit the road to California as they take on LA Galaxy at 2:30 pm on Saturday, March 19th.

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