- Matthew Laboissonniere
FC Dallas Match Review
It was a tale of two halves against FC Dallas on Saturday, May 28th as Orlando saw themselves jump in front 1-0 just to concede 3 quick goals in the second half to walk away with no points. Kara opened the game up with an amazing flicked header back to goal, with the service coming in from Pereyra. After that, it was not the best showing in the second half. Missed chances across the board on top of some lazy defensive efforts (I’m looking at you, Ruan) and an uncharacteristic soft goal let up by Gallese dug a hole too deep for the Lions to crawl out of.
One thing that needs to be kept in mind is squad fitness. Orlando is playing their third game of the week and it was evident that everyone was pretty gassed from the opening whistle. Usual starters got some rest minutes and saw the field via substitution. I discussed in my preview article about how bench depth could be something that Orlando has on Dallas, but maybe not. It might just be a rough patch in the season, and hopefully we walk away with minimal injuries.
Not capitalizing on chances again has hurt Orlando all season. Arriola jumped on some of his only chances of the game, and that made the difference. The Lions need to be this clinical.
Yellow Card - 12’ - Mendez
Yellow Card - 42’ - Ferreira
Goal - 45’ + 3’ - Kara
Yellow Card - 64’ - Velasco
Goal - 67’ - Arriola
Goal - 70’ - Jara
Yellow Card - 80’ - Quignon
Goal - 84’ - Arriola
Yellow Card - 86’ - Obrian
1. Kara Coming Out
On the bright side, Kara has really been popping off recently. I don’t know how he’s doing it - he’s not the prettiest on the eye - but he’s scoring goals, which is what we got him for. The big Austrian uses his size well to find space in the box and he’s undoubtedly talented in the air. Additionally, he’s been linking well with other players on the field. Orlando is going to need this moving forward - if they can’t keep goals out, they’re going to need someone to keep putting them in.
2. Squad Rotation Going Forward
The usage of substitutions and the element of squad rotation is going to be key going forward. Orlando City is in a battle at the top of the Eastern Conference, despite dropping more points than we would like. They get some time off, before they have to travel to New England and play the Revolution. I’ve been to every Revolution home game this season, and I know what they’re capable of, despite the slow start to the year. Additionally, the Lions are on a little US Open Cup run after winning in penalties on Wednesday. It’s always difficult to balance legs between the league and the outside tournaments, as well as potential players going off on international duty. Pareja needs to find a balance within his squad and manage the rotation wisely.
3. Not Pressuring Shots
Was it just me or was the defense wayyyyy too tentative last night? If you go through each goal, it seems like they simply didn’t expect Dallas to score from the position they were in. On the first goal, it was lazy backtracking and the Lions got caught on the counter attack. On the second, they tried to play the offside trap and it was NOT an amazing effort from Gallese. Going forward, try to make the save before you look at the assistant referee. And finally, for the third goal, Arriola just drove at Ruan, took a weak shot that Gallese should usually save, and he had a howler. But where was the pressure from Ruan on the shot? The backline just seemed a step behind in the second half. Tired legs could be the story but it hurt to watch.
Hard to pinpoint exactly what the problem was in this match. Fitness? Lack of capitalizing on chances? Weak play from the backline? The past is in the past at this point. Get your rest these next couple of weeks and get ready for New England.
On June 15th, Orlando City will travel to Gillette Stadium and take on the New England Revolution.