- Gavin Rushnell
Should You Attend The Chicago Game?
Hello boys and girls. Ladies and gents. The offseason is fast approaching with one game remaining for the Orlando City Lions. It is a home game against Chicago, one that should have taken on much more importance than it actually will. With a good 6 games remaining, us fans highlighted a need for a late run against easier opposition if we wanted to make the playoffs, and this final game at home was looking like it would be the deciding factor between playoff qualification or another failed season. Imagine how loud Exploria Stadium would have been had we gone on that necessary run, how full the stadium would have been, how vociferous the wall would have sung.
The atmosphere would have been electric. But no. The fans did not get the important match we yearned for and poor performance after poor performance saw our promising start to the 2018/2019 MLS season sputter to an uninspiring end. This now marks 5 years without playoffs for Orlando City.
That is nothing less than unacceptable. The fans deserve way more ambition and end product from the club than it is getting at the moment.
As fans, it is hard to display unhappiness with the team. We can go on social media rants, tag the players and front office members and hope they see our unrest, but that does very little by the way of affecting those club members. If we want change, we need to make a combined effort to show our total dissatisfaction with the club. Something along the lines of a near-empty stadium affects the higher-ups at the club. The tickets won't sell and the club won't make nearly as much money as expected.
I understand that most people will say to remain patient and wait for the next season. After we buy a new striker, get rid of the deadwood, and have a couple of roster improving moves, we'll be fine. I agree with that sentiment. We will make moves in the offseason and get O'Connor's preferred squad in. I'm also fine with being patient and seeing out our head coach's vision.
What I am not fine with is the losing culture at this club. We as a club need to turn that around and it starts with the fans.
What I am basically asking for is for us fans to apply pressure onto the front office, and what better way than to have extremely low attendance numbers at a nothing game. Imagine the players playing a game with neither supporter group in the wall. That right there is a statement to the front office saying "mediocrity isn't good enough. We want more next season."
So to answer the question posed in the title, no. Do not attend the game against Chicago on Sunday. It means nothing. Do not waste your hard-earned money on game-tickets or gas or parking tickets or beer or food or merchandise. Help apply pressure to this front office and stay home. There is no need for any of us fans to be at this game and I fully expect the stadium to have one of it's lowest attendance totals since it opened.
We all want to see Orlando City succeed. This is the perfect opportunity to help apply pressure to our front office to make sure they get it right next season.
Don't get me wrong, I was planning on going to this game (playoff decider or not) as it was the last of the season but I have decided to save my money, not give it to the club, and show my unhappiness with our results over the past 5 years. Who's with me?
'Til next time, this has been Gavin Rushnell and #VamosOrlando