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  • Gavin Rushnell

Orlando Fail Again: Houston Review

Score: HOU 2 - 1 ORL

For the umpteenth this season, we have held a lead and given it up. For the umpteenth time in this season, we have failed to do what we must in order to succeed. We fell at the semifinal stage at home against Atlanta and now we have failed at every opportunity to gain a foothold in the playoff race. A TINY chance remains for us to remain in the playoffs but it falls on us winning our next 2 games and New England not gaining a single point from their remaining 3. I don't see either of those things happening at this point. It's a disappointing end to a promising season. We have a long time to dwell on the full season though so I'm just going to go through the game here and do the season review at the official end of the season.


1st Half

The first half couldn't have started better. Dwyer scored off a beautiful set-piece delivery by Pereyra to make it 1-0 inside 10 minutes. After the goal, we remained in control of the game for the next 10 - 15 minutes before we began to sit deeper and deeper and try to get to halftime 1-0 up. Houston never really threatened and we were only looking to either keep possession or hit them on the counter. The 1st half sputtered out and, with the Chicago and New England results going our way, a big 2nd half was needed to get a crucial 3 points in the playoff hunt.

2nd Half

The second half did not go to plan to say the least. JOC obviously wanted to set up shop and dare Houston to attack us. Attack us they did. Houston was all over us and controlled the game from the 45th to the 90th minute of the game. We never attempted to leave our defensive third and decided that 1-0 was good enough. It wasn't. Two quick goals in the 70th and 73rd minute ended Orlando's hopes of a playoff push. There were countless decisions made by JOC that left us fans scratching our heads (more on that tomorrow on the podcast), but one thing is for certain, he was too cautious when we needed him to be aggressive. We have seen all season that 1-0 is not good enough. Why accept it and hope that we see the game out? It's only worked once all season, against Columbus, and they really should have tied the game up if it weren't for a poor night from Zardes and Pedro Santos. Orlando never looked a threat in the 2nd half and in the end lost the game.


Player Ratings

Rowe - 7/10

Ruan - 5/10

Sane - 5/10

Jansson - 6/10

Miller - 5/10

Mendez - 4/10

Higuita - 6/10

Johnson - 5/10

Pereyra - 6/10

Dwyer - 7/10 MOTM

Nani - 6/10


Akindele - 3/10

Ascues - 3/10

Mueller - N/A

I don't really fault the team today. They went out and played to the best of their abilities. For me, this game was lost due to poor management. We decided to defend when we should have looked to control possession. JOC kept us deeper and we paid the price for that. Dwyer gets MOTM because he scored and played well overall. Akindele and Ascues get 3's for me because they came on and played poor. They did not impact the game whatsoever and looked just as tired as everyone else when we needed them to have fresh legs.


A disappointing result to take but there are *some* positives to look at. The team is still not fully built. I'm sure once JOC gets his squad built the way he wants it, we will be a playoff team. That comes next season. If you look at it, it is positive that we are disappointed to miss out on the playoffs because we know we have been the reason. We switched off and allowed those late goals. We started slow and allowed those early goals. Once we get that sorted out, there are no excuses for not making the playoffs.

'Til next time, this has been Gavin Rushnell and #VamosOrlando

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