This match was… weird. In a game that wasn’t too exciting all around the edges, the Lions visited Ohio and walked away with 0 points. They did not deserve any, either. Only a couple Lions showed up to play today but we will talk about that. Orlando was down some key pieces, however. Pereyra did not travel with the team and was headed back due to precautionary reasons. Moutinho was set to start but experienced pain in the warmup. As we know, Jansson was unavailable due to a yellow card suspension. This was brewing to be a difficult match and it proved so: the Lions showed no real threat to go and take this game. Much of the match was spent on the backfoot dealing with the opposition attacks. In the moments where the Lions were going forward, there was not much conviction. The closest moment I can remember was an Urso header from a Pato cross that was fairly wide. This was a chance for the Lions to go top of the conference for a moment because of matches played, but they did not capitalize.
Goal - 65’ - Brenner
Yellow Card - 72’ - Smith
Yellow Card - 80’ - Brenner
1. Pereyra’s Absence Felt
Pereyra hardly misses matches for the Lions, in fact this may be the first one he missed that I was covering. His absence was more than felt. Without him, it felt like Orlando was playing with 10 men, especially in the attack. Kara and Pato only had 1 shot each in this game and you can attribute it to the lack of chances created for them. Torres, Mulraney, and others tried to pick up the slack but they could not produce that killer final ball. Hopefully his injury is not that serious, because the attack seems to be clicking less and less over time, and him not being available does not help.
2. But We Do Have A Goalie
Other teams may have an army, but we have a Gallese. The Peruvian was outstanding on Friday night, despite what the scoreline says. In fact, it probably could have been 3 or 4 nil to the hosts if not for his big saves time and time again. The inevitable goal that was coming was pretty much unsavable, as Gallese was already on the ground and no defender cared enough to get in front of the ball. Not only did Gallese stand on his head, but the defense did not even give a shit. They looked lazy, tired, and like their legs were stuck in quicksand the entire match with no sense of urgency to help their keeper. Jansson’s no show because of yellow cards definitely hurt things too. He needs to screw his head on straight because Orlando can not play many more games without him if they want to stand a chance.
3. The Duck… Sucks
When I opened up my first match review of the season, all I could talk about was Pato and how we was far and away the best player on Orlando. His technical skill, speed, flair, and goalscoring were all so evident. Recently he has looked like a shell of himself and not deserving of being in the starting eleven. Even in the substitution appearances that he makes, he does not bring much to the table. He gave Kara a rest again in the second half and did not spark much life off the bench as Pareja would have hoped. In the 81’ minute, he was played in on goal and his touch completely let him down and forced him to readjust to some janky cross. All in all, he’s clearly a player out of form. But can Orlando awaken the beast that we believe is inside?
Matches like this show if a team is a contender or a pretender. Can you get a result on the road with key players missing? Not only did Orlando not do that, they showed 0 heart. I’m not giving up just yet, as they still have a decent spot in the Eastern Conference Standings, but somethings gotta give. Up Next The attention switches back to the US Open Cup on Wednesday, June 29th as the Lions host Nashville SC.