I finally got to see an Orlando City game in person and it was... alright? The Lions and the Revolution faced off Wednesday night and drew 1-1 in a match that was much more about “moments” as opposed to overall dominance. Each team got their goal, and didn’t have a lot of creativity besides that. The Revolution were clearly missing Buska, and the Lions were still missing that chemistry up top.
In the first 15-20 minutes or so, Orlando did a good job in possession and breaking lines from defense to midfield. There wasn’t enough productivity in the final third or a creative final run, but the possession was great. The Revolution had a couple of chances on the counter attack but it was sniffed out by Gallese. The first real big chance of the game came in the 21’ minute. Orlando caught out on a break and Pato was able to rip a shot on Petrovic, and he came up big. Most likely his first big save at Gillette on the big stage. Just like the Revolution in the first 20, Orlando had some counter attacking chances after them.
And then, Carles Gil happened. Bou broke out in transition almost directly after and fed Gil on the right hand side. He cut inside to his preferred left foot and there was nothing Gallese could do. It was Gil’s first open play goal of the season, something the Lions will be scratching their heads about. Pretty pathetic effort from Schlegel there. (Antonio Carlos, I miss you.)
As soon as I was about to type that the Revolution were controlling the rest of the half, Jansson went full Theirry Henry. After a broken up corner kick, Jansson controlled it, drove it byline, and crushed it between the keeper’s legs. It was a decent response to get Orlando level for the second half.
The second half opened up a little more conservative and there wasn’t a whole lot to write home about. Orlando had a penalty shout that was quickly dismissed by the referee. Orlando was on the back foot still for the beginning of the first half but was able to remain strong in the back, getting back to their defensive roots. When on the ball, they pinged it around much quicker than in the first half, which must have been at the top of Pareja’s talking points at halftime. The rest of the second half was a snooze fest. Both teams walked away with a point - and maybe felt they left some more up for grabs.
Yellow Card - 6’ - Jansson
Goal - 22’ - Gil
Yellow Card - 24’ - Kaptoum
Yellow Card - 27’ - Farrell
Goal - 35’ - Jansson
Yellow Card - 44’ - Mulraney
Yellow Card - 56’ - Borrero
Yellow Card - 60’ - Jones
Yellow Card - 77’ - Schlegel
Yellow Card - 88’ - Smith
1. Super Jansson
Jansson right now is simultaneously the best defender, midfielder, and attacker. I thought he did a good job all night controlling Bou when he was playing central (besides Bou’s assist which was in transition). Come second half, Altidore played more centrally and tried to use his physicality more to set a tone in the match. Jansson stood tough there as well. He is overall pretty solid on the ball and of course he had the equalizing goal, with a pretty clean and true strike of the ball to beat a good goalkeeper. It’s obvious when paired with Schlegel he has more responsibility, but the Swede had a nice match.
2. Brought Physicality on the Road
When I was typing up the match facts, it felt like the list of yellow cards was never going to end. It was a super physical match at Gillette. There were 33 fouls committed in the whole match, with each team picking up 4 cards. It was quite an open game at points, and a lot of those fouls were tactical and picked up in transition. However, it’s worth noting that some players will have to be more careful moving forward.
3. Strong Showing On the Road, Again
For some reason the Lions do great after travel. Even Gallese, who represented Peru on Monday and had to fly back to make it in time and earn the start. But these Lions are road warriors because of how they perform on the pitch, not necessarily in the results. Picking up a 1-1 draw against a Revolution team that is starting to find footing again is a solid result, especially for a midweek game. The Lions had 4 more shots and 2 more shots on target compared to the Revolution as well. They could have had a couple more goals, but the Revolution keeper came up pretty big at moments. Moving forward however, the Lions have to get all 3 points to put themselves in the best position come playoffs.
Another solid performance on the road. However, if it wasn’t for Jansson’s individual effort, we would have been scratching our heads at the offensive chemistry again. A lot of solid possession, but a lack of creativity on the final ball. If that can get fixed, I expect more wins in the future.
On Saturday night, the Houston Dynamo visit the Lions at Exploria Stadium.