- Matthew Laboissonniere
Houston Dynamo Match Preview
It will be a very short turnaround for the Lions this week as they are back in Orlando at Exploria Stadium to welcome yet another Texan opponent in the Houston Dynamo. Last time out, the Lions were in Foxborough taking on New England in a game that was very winnable for either side. Orlando equalized through a Jansson strike off of a broken up corner, but conceded and looked vulnerable on the counter attack. In my opinion, the Revolution are a stronger side than the Dynamo and Orlando could win this game if they put in a similar performance as they did on Wednesday. However, they can certainly improve in some different aspects.
Orlando City Stats
6-5-4, Top Goal Scorer: Kara, Top Assister: Pereyra, DLWDW
Houston Dynamo Stats
5-6-3, Top Goal Scorer: Ferreira, Quintero, Top Assister: Ferreira, Lundqvist, LWLWL
1. Capitalizing in Transition
One of my bigger takeaways from the Revolution match was Orlando’s tendency to not capitalize in transition offense. In the first half, Orlando had a chance going forward where Pato missed his transition shot. Then, the Revolution transitioned right back through Bou who played Gil which opened the scoring. This all happened from the Lions being caught out in an offensive movement that resulted in nothing. The Revolution were quick to counter right back with so many Lions players involved in the offense. Orlando does not have a superb defense in transition, so when the attackers get a chance on the counter, they need to capitalize.
2. Pato & Kara
The two attackers have taken turns being the head of the Lions offense this season. Both have gotten numerous opportunities to grab the certified starting spot every week. I expected Kara to start in New England but Pato did. He did not look technically skilled and involved in the offense as he did in the beginning of the year, when I was calling him the best player without a doubt. He wants to be more involved in build up, whereas Kara is more of a target man with his big body and hold up play. Can’t say who I want starting going forward, but the way our offense is moving, the chances are coming few and far between. Both of these guys have to start getting on the end of more chances if we want to win games.
3. Slowing Down the Stars
The main focus of the game will be slowing down Quintero and Ferreira. It is safe to say that overall Orlando appears as the stronger team, but they sometimes drop points due to individual quality from the opposition. Gil, the best player for the Revs, got them a point on Wednesday. Quintero and Ferreira both have 5 goals on the year and Ferreira is also a joint leader in assists as well. Those two men will have the focus on Jansson and Schlegel, as they look to protect Gallese. Shut them down and the Dynamo will struggle offensively.
A Look at Houston
~ Dynamo like to press high and win the ball in dangerous areas in the final third, capitalizing off those chances
~ Orlando most likely will control possession but loose passes in the back will be something to watch
~ 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation
~ Decently strong defensive team, 10th in fewest goals allowed (17)
Orlando knows they need a big win here and I think they deliver, 2-1. Pato’s going to get his scoring account going again on his home field. Overall, I think the Lions are too strong across the entire pitch as compared to the two main threats the Dynamo have. But I’ve been wrong before. Vamos!