Editors note: Pick up a copy of Simon’s book Defying Expectations: Phil Rawlins and the Orlando City Soccer Story as the perfect Father’s Day gift for the Orlando City fan dad in your life!
1) We’re certainly not at DEFCON 1 yet, but no-one on the team should be comfortable about a fourth defeat in a row. The 3-0 scoreline flattered NYCFC, who were pretty ordinary on the night, but the Lions have some glaring deficiencies right now, which leads us to…
2) Whoever thought this team had any attacking cover without Dom Dwyer was whistling in the wind. This lineup is totally punchless without Dwyer, and that’s on the front office. The loss of one player should not make THAT big of a difference, but….
3) Orlando is 6-1-0 when Dwyer plays, with a total of 17 (count ’em, SEVENTEEN) goals scored (by the team) and nine conceded. The team is 0-5-1 when he doesn’t, with just FIVE goals scored and 14 conceded. That’s an indictment of the roster-building.
4) No team in MLS would be competitive with seven players missing, four of them (Dwyer, Spector, Yotun and Tarek) being absolutely key men. Jason Kreis has not had ONE game yet this year where his full first-choice line-up has been available. Not one.
5) The Not-So-Magnificent Seven have now missed THIRTY-ONE games between them, led by Spector (9), Sutter (8), Dwyer (6), Yotun (3), Tarek and Sane (2) and Schuler (1). That is just plain bad luck, pure and simple.
6) Even tho the team was missing 7 starters, again, they bossed long periods of the game & should have taken a point, again. The reason they didn’t was because of 2) above. None of Pinho, Mueller or Colman are able to fill Dwyer’s boots. Two still look like the rookies they are while the other is just not at MLS level.
7) When a team is struggling with injuries and lack of goalscoring, it needs its senior and MLS-savvy players to step up. That didn’t happen at NYCFC and four in particular are just not pulling their weight right now. That’s a huge drag on the team.
8) The main culprits are Kljestan & Meram, who have all the you ability need but just aren’t doing enough. They were signed to be difference-makers but the only difference right now is they’re either a step slow, taking the wrong option or over-thinking what they’re doing. It’s time for them to break out of this funk. Fast.
9) The other 2 who were badly at fault on Sat were Toia & Johnson, who were just flat out embarrassed at times & well below the required standard. Johnson is playing out of position & it’s really showing while Toia, in his 1st start of season, was horribly off the pace & badly exposed on NY’s 1st goal.
10) It certainly wasn’t all bad. OCSC possessed the ball really well at times (no mean feat on that abomination of a field) & looked really solid in the middle 3rd thanks to Higuita, Rosell and Mueller. But the absolute star was Rocha. For a stand-in CB, he was immense, mature beyond his years & a real driving force. Bravo, sir!
And 11) With all the injuries, the team must forget Wednesday’s US Open Cup game. Put out a youth team, if necessary. Everyone must be geared up as well as possible and ready to play at Vancouver on Sat. Even a draw would be a good result at this stage, but a 5th straight L doesn’t bear thinking about.