Seeing as we didn’t manage a lot of OCSC chat on the show this week (for very obvious reasons!), it behooves me to step in with the weekly 10 Thinks and point out a few salient points from Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at New England.
1) Let’s get the obvious out of the way first – is it 2019 yet? That’s the only real hope for the fans right now as they contemplate a record number of goals conceded to go with the current streak of one win in 22 and 6pts out of a possible 66.
2) No goals in the past five games sums up just how sour this season has become, and it’s pretty clear at this stage that this roster is very badly assembled and James O’Connor has a massive job on his hands to rebuild it by next March.
3) In defense of the team, they were once again without a whole raft of players due to injuries and international call-ups, the latter of which is unforgivable for a major soccer league. MLS simply HAS to figure out how to avoid this in future as taking all the best players away during league play is an absolute cardinal sin in both soccer and sporting entertainment terms.
4) Ultimately, however, that’s a pretty thin defense, as, with 30 players, you should still be able to put a competitive team on the field. But, without (the suspended) Dom Dwyer, Orlando’s offense has about as much firepower as the Ugandan navy. And that’s not a lot.
5) With Spector injured and El-Munir on international duty, O’Connor fielded the umpteenth defensive combination of the year, and that’s never a happy situation. Playing a 5-man backline also smacked a little of desperation and it simply didn’t work.
6) Against a team ranked only 20th in possession terms in the league, Orlando mustered barely 35% of the ball in the first half and 40% overall. New England just coasted to victory as they were in the box seats from the first minute, able to put 5 and 6 players into the attack most of the time.
7) On paper, OCSC’s attack – consisting of Laryea, Rocha, Mueller & Colman – looked terribly green, and that’s the way it played out, with just four attempts on target and only one serious save for Revs keeper Knighton.
8) Even though they won, the Revs are an unlikable team. They committed a whopping 23 fouls in the 3-3 draw in Orlando in August yet drew only one yellow card, and committed another 14 on Saturday, with no cards from another woefully inept ref. That’s 34 fouls and 1 card in 2 games. That can’t happen in a league that’s paying attention.
9) Now the pressure is back on OCSC to deliver at least a goal in front of their own fans this week, against Seattle on Wed & Columbus on Sat, the latter of which should be a real grudge match after the way the Crew stole a win from the Lions in controversial circumstances in Columbus in July & have the despised Justin Meram back in their lineup. Sparks. Fly.
10) Yotun and El-Munir will still be missing. See also 3). This is a recurring joke, but it’s not very funny.
11) Come out and see us at the Broken Cauldron before Saturday’s game to bid a not-so-fond farewell to the 2018 season. We’ll also have some books to sell 😉