- Matthew Laboissonniere
Inter Miami Match Review
Well, this is starting to become classic Orlando City. After a tough 90’ minute battle, on top of a very long (almost 2 1/2 hour long) delay, Orlando was able to walk away with 3 points. It’s a sigh of relief, that’s for sure. One of those matches where a win was needed, and it didn’t really matter how. Would I have liked to see an Orlando City goal that… came from an Orlando City player? Sure, but you don’t always get what you want. Regardless, the Lions were able to create a chance late in the game, put the defender in a difficult position, and he couldn’t deal with it.
Once again, the offense was not clicking the way we hoped it could. Pereyra especially, who was a scare to not play in this game, did not produce the way he usually can. It’s becoming clear that if he has a rough game, the team will suffer because of it. On the bright side, the defense held strong for a full 90 without conceding. It’s a really, REALLY good sign, after conceding 5 in the match before on their home ground. My advice to the Lion: forget about this. You got 3 points, but you gotta be better. Onto the next one.
Match Facts Yellow Card - 45’ + 3’ - Smith Yellow Card - 52’ - Duke Goal - 90’ + 2’ - Lowe (OG)
Three Things 1. Defensive MASTERclass! Oh boy! I wrote about the defense in my last match review, but the subject was very different. The Lions hung out for the full 90 without conceding, allowing a crucial mistake by the Miami defense to determine where the points were going. The whole back line of Smith-Jansson-Schlegel-Ruan performed well, in my opinion. Jansson and Schlegel were both tied for the most touches on the team, dictating possession, which is what you love to see from your centerbacks. Jansson did it without getting a yellow card too, thank God. Schlegel’s got that dog in him. I just wanted an excuse to reference that meme, but a good performance from the backline.
2. Watching Grass Grow The thing about footy is it can either be a beautiful game of chances, or a slow burn of two teams just trying to get points. Last night was certainly the latter of the two. A two-and-a-half-hour rain delay due to storms didn’t help that, either. I was practically in bed by the time the match kicked off. S/O the Orlando fans who stayed the entire time and stayed rowdy until the end. But offensively, the Lions did not create any fancy or mouth watering stuff that we’ve seen them do in the past. Boring, going through the motions, whatever you want to call it, that’s what last night was. Fortunately, the Lions got the points, but it won’t be that lucky as the matches go on.
3. Quick Turnaround The biggest thing for Orlando City right now is momentum. The Lions have a short turnaround and have their next match on Wednesday against Colorado on the road. As I keep mentioning, July is a very big month for Orlando, and they have to stay focused and continue the momentum of getting 3 points. Again - it does not matter how you get them at this point. Some fans may disagree, but I just want to see this team in the playoffs. Additionally, the Lions suffered a beating physically in this game and I’m wondering if any Orlando players will have lingering injuries throughout the season. Miami committed 19 fouls in this one, with Pereyra a natural target for most of them. These next couple days are really important in terms of getting healthy and keeping a positive mindset going into the rest of the season.
Final Word July is a very competitive and busy month for the Lions and all that matters right now is points. Own goals, shitty goals, golazos, it doesn’t matter. And preventing them on the other end, that’s big too. What are the Lions made of? We’ll see very soon.
Orlando will take on Colorado on a quick turnaround this Wednesday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.