Here we go with this week’s 10 Thinks, which could easily be 50 or 60 after Sat’s game at LAFC. Truly, that was a game for the ages, in reaction terms, 90 mins full of talking points….
1) Shambolic. Incomprehensible. Defying every convention. And that was just my Internet connection here in Okemos, MI. The @OrlandoCitySC game? Yes, it was all of that, and more besides.
2) Let’s just start by trying to unravel the result. A 4-1 defeat never looks good, but this one hides a multitude of sins, many of them on the Lions’ part, but many also on the officials.
3) Before I go off the deep end on this one, let’s just be clear – LA were the better team, they possess a really potent attack, are very possibly the 2nd best team in the league (after ATL), and they deserved to win.
4) OCSC defended VERY poorly at times. Yet again, we saw the back 4 all at sea, and some of the defending would have shamed the Keystone Cops (witness goals 2 and 4 for LA). But there were mitigating circumstances.
5) Just to start with, this was James O’Connor’s first game in charge, and he has had just a few days to get his message across. Then skipper Spector got injured and threw things even more off kilter. LA scored twice in the subsequent confusion of a defensive reorganization.
6) But then the team settled down and started to play. They caused LA some real problems, the attack sparked into life, and we finally had a game.
7) And then VAR reared its (very) ugly head, and things went to hell in a hand basket. A perfectly good OCSC goal was ruled out in mystifying circumstances, and everything after that is then conjecture and confusion. The 2 late goals merely added to a horrible situation.
8 a) Let me be absolutely clear. The officials and their use of VAR went against EVERY protocol that has been laid out for replay use. There was no “clear & obvious” error on Orlando’s 2nd goal, and the referee did NOT go to the video monitor to check. What’s going on, MLS?
8 b) If the VAR official is going to start making arbitrary decisions based on who knows what, the game is gone. Finished. Over. The first time that happens to the home team in their stadium the fans will riot, and rightly so. It was an abomination of the use of technology
8 c) There HAS to be an inquiry into what happened. What we saw on Sat night, with the game completely influenced by a blown VAR call, cannot be allowed to happen again if this league wants to be taken seriously.
9) O’Connor has a major task on his hands to turn this around, but there WERE some encouraging signs. Dom was back making runs & looking dangerous again (could, and probably should, have had a couple), Kljestan was poised, and Yotun gave the team better balance.
10) The bad signs were that Mueller & Colman still looked like rookies, the defensive alignment collapsed without Spector, and both full-backs looked suspect. A LOT of work is needed.
Now, let’s get behind the team, as one, for Saturday’s home game against Toronto.